On Saturday 11 February, students were in high spirits as they paraded through the streets of Hatfield. The annual charity parade was opened by Prof. Cheryl de la Rey and Mr Kgosientso Ramakgopa, the Mayor of Tshwane, at 11:00.

Around 8 000 students were involved in building floats and escorting them through the streets. The theme this year was “Things we see when we turn on the TV”. The Simpsons was a popular take on the theme, inspiring both the Katjiepiering and Olienhout float, as well as the Curlitzia and Luminous float. Taaibos and Magrietjie mixed sugar, spice and everything nice to make a Cartoon Network-inspired float featuring the Powerpuff Girls and Mojo Jojo. Lilium and Kiaat built a Smurfs float, and Maroela and Klaradyn went with a Dexter’s Lab theme. Vividus ladies and Nerina deviated from the cartoon-inspired norm to build an MTV Base float, complete with gangsters and boomboxes. Kollege and Jasmyn built a Top Chef float, while Inca and Zeus built a float inspired by the movie Up. Asterhof and Vividus Men took third place with their Big Bang Theory float. Mopanie and Zinnia came in second place with their SABC News float, featuring Riaan Cruywagen and his detachable wig. Winners Sonop and Erika built a float featuring various cartoon characters, including Buzz Lightyear and Spongebob Squarepants.

The general consensus from spectators was that this year’s parade was improvement on lasts year’s and that both the new, shorter route and the earlier starting time contributed to this, despite the heavier police presence and noticeably poorer spectator turn out. Several students said that this was probably because people did not have time to start drinking prior to the parade commencing. A handful of students felt that the parade was “still too rough”.

Felicia Fourie, who emailed Perdeby late on Saturday night, certainly would have agreed. “On Rag Saturday I stopped at the corner of Lynnwood and University Roads at about 5pm,” says Fourie. “There was a stream of students approaching Loftus – they looked happy, modern and made me think of my own Rag years ago. Out of the blue two male students (apparently) decided to bare their very unsightly bottoms up against the window, into the face of my passenger, an 87 year-old-lady. What low down cowardly skunks. Yuch!”

Photos: Gerhard Louw and Marius Veldhuyzen van Zanten

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