Often hailed as the “largest student-run pep rally in the nation”, Gator Growl is
currently going on its 90th year at the University of Florida. With 90 years comes an
unparalleled sense of pride and tradition among the University’s alumni, students,
staff, and devoted Gator fanatics. The history of Gator Growl is what makes this event
such a deep-rooted unifier for Gators of all ages.
Gator Growl originally stemmed from a tradition in the early 1900’s when the student
body had a big bonfire the night before the Homecoming game. What started as a
bonfire has now grown into a production of mind-boggling capacity. The tradition and
camaraderie is evident when Mr. Two Bits and Mr. Orange and Blue walk on the field
and lead the crowd in rousing renditions of cheers unique to the University of Florida.
Dance numbers by the Cheerleaders and Dazzlers, performances by the Marching
Band, and appearances by multiple Gator sports teams are what make this event a
true pep rally. With the addition of live and pre-recorded skits, cameos by celebrities
across the country, amazing musical guests, and established and up-and-coming comedians,
Gator Growl is now a pep-rally, in addition to a show. If you don’t feel a connection
to the University of Florida Gators after that, just wait until the final fireworks
and light display.