Students sing and dance at Gator Growl 2016


Fireworks at the end of Gator Growl. Photo was taken through Snapchat using its geotag. Photo by: Carmen Arce

As Homecoming Week came to an end, the major event that everyone awaited finally arrived: Gator Growl!

Held on Friday, October 14 at the Flavet Field, Gator Growl started promptly at 6:00 p.m.

Gator Growl is a rooted tradition at the University of Florida, and it has captivated the Gator Nation for over 90 years. It is a University of Florida tradition that marks the culmination of Homecoming Week, and the amount of student participation that goes into an event like this has given Gator Growl the right to call itself the largest student-run pep rally in the nation.

For nearly 40 years, world renowned artists have given their performance at Gator Growl. This year, Passion Pit; Timeflies; Maddie and Tae; and Waka Flocka Flame took the stage on Flavet Field.

The event started with American female country music duo composed of Madison Marlow and Taylor Dye, both of whom are singers, songwriters and guitarists. Because it was one of the first performances, there were not too many people present. However, these two young women had the audience, mainly females, singing along to their well-known hit “Girl in a Country Song.”

As the sun set, and the night got darker, more and more individuals arrived. No matter the direction you stood or stared, Flavet Field was filled with young, energetic individuals eating recently bought food from the food trucks and singing along with the performers.

By the time of the third performance, a lot of the people in the crowd were extremely hyped, especially when it was announced that Queens-bred, Atlanta-based rapper, Waka Flocka Flame, was up next.

The riotous rapper has undergone an artistic transformation since his 2010 debut of Flockaveli, and he continues to experiment with his sound, but always with the focus on growing as a rapper.

Flocka, who penned hits like “O Let’s Do It” and “No Hands,” had everyone in a #trance that evening. His high energy, which permeated through the field, is the sole reason he has earned the nickname “Turn Up God.”

Speaking of which, his EDM album Turn Up God will be released sometime this year, so for you Flocka fans, be on the lookout!

Like every other good thing in life, the show came to an end. However, it was an unforgettable evening. The loud booms and colorful flashes filled the air as fireworks exploded continuously. For a Friday evening on campus grounds, the individuals seemed very satisfied based on their body language, facial expressions and comments among each other.  I wonder who will perform in our beautiful campus next year. Until next time, my fellow Gators!



Students from the Gainesville community perform at Soulfest 2016


Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. Photo by: Carmen Arce

On the evening of October 12 at the Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, the 93rd UF Homecoming and Gator Growl presented Soulfest 2016: The Dawn of a Revolution.

Soulfest is a live, multicultural performance that showcased different forms of expressions and art  from the students of the University of Florida and the Gainesville community. Soulfest promotes creativity and the celebration of personal identity in the Gator Nation during our annual Homecoming week.

This year, Soulfest continued the tradition of a timeless event and allowed us to stand together against the turmoil that the multicultural communities face every day. At Soulfest, the performers “growled” through art, cultural appreciation and music. With love and unity, the performers demonstrated the importance of change that is needed in our campus and country.

The event had it all: singing, dancing, stepping and more. The first performance was by the Explosive Steppers, which is the first non-Greek affiliated step team at the University of Florida. The diversity of the team’s members provides a vibrant and energetic environment for those to pursue their passion for stepping: an art form demonstrating strength, finesse and endurance. Click below to view their performance.

Video by: Carmen Arce

Aside from promoting creativity and personal identity, the performers gave it their all on the stage to see which team would take their talents to Gator Growl, the biggest event of Homecoming Week, on Friday, October 14.

“I came to support my friends who are on the Sabor Latino dance team,” said Brandon Apagueño a third-year psychology major at UF.

Apagueño was ecstatic when hearing that Sabor Latino won the competition.

“Sabor Latino will be performing at Gator Growl! I know they’re (his friends) expecting me to go for sure now,” Apagueño said.

If you missed Sabor Latino’s performance at Soulfest, don’t worry, you have the opportunity to see them at Gator Growl alongside Passion Pit; Waka Flocka Flame and DJ Whoo Kid; Timeflies; and Maddie & Tae.

Click the link below if you haven’t purchased your tickets yet, and please stay safe at the event. Until next time!