KNOXVILLE - For the first time since the 1980s, UT's Homecoming parade will return to "The Strip," or Cumberland Avenue.
The route will take the parade from Circle Park on campus and end at Volunteer Boulevard.
It's exciting news for businesses and students, who enjoy the deep tradition surrounding the yearly October event.
It's been nearly 30 years since business on the strip has seen this.
"Yeah, it's something neat and different," Sterchi Morton said.
Morton works at University Liquors on Cumberland Avenue.
"To see these floats coming down the strip, it's hard to even picture it," Morton said.
But picture this, UT's homecoming parade and all of its tradition, coming down a street that has been part of the city's complete redesign, nearly three years in the making.
"It really is like, the perfect place for everyone to meet," UT Student Noah Urmston said.
"This is the first year that we've had the strip completely finished and redone," UT student Kyle Hopper said.
UT partnered with the city to take the parade down Cumberland Avenue, rather than just around campus.
"It's nice that the city and the university are willing to help the merchants," said Morton.
He said the parade should put an exclamation point on what's been constant construction for the last few years.
"It's nice for the businesses to get to reap some of the reward, since they've suffered for a little while, but we are thankful for everything that's gone into it," said Morton.
And a lot went into it.
"Both how it functions and also the aesthetics of the street," Knoxville's Deputy Director of Redevelopment Anne Wallace said.
Wallace said it should be the highlight event of the fall.
"Knoxville turns orange almost every Friday afternoon and almost every Saturday in the fall, so we're really excited," she said.
UT student Hunter Jones has seen his share of orange for what will be his third homecoming.
"It's a way to better engage both the Cumberland Avenue Project and the Knoxville community, and to be able to show what it means to be a Vol on campus," Jones said.
The parade is Nov. 3, and the Homecoming theme this year is HC 101: An Intro Into Rocky Top.
Cumberland Avenue will close at 3:30 p.m. that day and re-open at 6:30 p.m., so avoid the area if you're driving.
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