Gator Growl is the flagship event of the University of Florida and a tradition that has continued to be a prominent for over 90 years.  It is a University of Florida tradition that marks the culmination of Homecoming Week. The pep rally is rooted in the tradition of Dad’s Day, when fathers of the then all-male student body would visit their sons on campus. In 1924, Dad’s Day was replaced with a Friday night pep rally, which was then accompanied by the addition of comedy skits in 1932. Thus, Gator Growl was born. The massive production consists of musical and comedic entertainers, Gator athletics and performances by UF’s Cheerleaders, Dazzlers and Pride of the Sunshine Marching Band. Hundreds of students work endless hours to create the annual spectacle. 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.

While traditions change over the years, the Gator Nation’s legacy still stands and will not expire. Gator Growl’s tradition possesses the pride, feelings and hard work of the varying generations of students at the University of Florida. This memorable show will foster the legacy that students and alumni will be able to share for generations to come. Gator Growl will be held on Friday, October 4th, 2019. Until then, announcements, updates, and other important information can be found on this website and our various social media outlets.


1916: Dad's Day

The roots of Gator Growl stem all the way back to “Dad’s Day,” where the Father’s of the all-male student body would visit the University of Florida campus.

1924: Firing It Up

In 1924 the event became known as “Friday night pep-rally”. Before the pep-rally, students would have to gather their weight in firewood to gain access. A large bonfire was then formed during the event to signify the “Firing up” before the football game the following day.

1925: The Road to UF

In the demand for a growing city, Gainesville obtained it’s first paved roads in the early 1920s. These new roads gave way to more attendance during “Friday night pep-rally” than ever before.

1927: Skits and Performances

The increasing population forced the show to accommodate to an even larger audience! The addition of performers, live skits, and musical acts filled the show with excitement and anticipation in the late 20’s.

1928: Fireworks

In an attempt to top the previous years, fireworks were introduced in 1928! This forced the show to be moved outside.

1932: Gator Growl

In 1932, the spectacle was deemed “Gator Growl” after a Florida Blue Key member replied in frustration “Just let the gator growl!” when deciding the shows new name at a meeting. The show was moved to Florida Field to incorporate the fireworks.

1973: Tickets on Sale

Tickets to the show were free all the way up until “Cheech and Chong” performed at Gator Growl in 1973. This was considered the first big name act to perform at Gator Growl and attracted a larger audience than usual. Tickets at the time were 50¢ per person!

1976: Bob Hope

Once the nationally recognized comedian Bob Hope performed at Gator Growl in 1976, word of the pep rally quickly spread. After his performance, the reputation of Gator Growl soared!

1977: Bigger Show, Bigger Talent

Since 1976, many nationally recognized performers have been featured at Gator Growl!

2014: Flavet Field

In an effort to increase overall attendance and provide a more interactive experience, Gator Growl was moved to Flavet Field in 2014. Since then, the opportunities have been greatly increased with the addition of Food Trucks, a VIP section, and Pit Pass’!