ALBANY — Thousands of Albany State University alumni and supporters lined Pine Avenue in downtown Albany on a pleasantly cool and overcast Saturday morning to celebrate homecoming at the historically black university.

Following behind an armada of Albany State law enforcement vehicles, blue lights flashing, and occasionally, sirens sounding, ASU President Marion Fedrick walked the several blocks of the parade route down Pine, waving and greeting well-wishers, before taking her spot at the viewing stand just off the corner of Pine and Washington Street in front of the Dougherty County School System Administration Building.

Following closely behind Fedrick were marching bands from local high and middle schools, dance teams, floats bearing queens and other university supporters, and a politician or two — including U.S. Congressman Sanford Bishop — it being the campaign season, after all.

“It’s so good to see this, to be back out here with other members of the Albany State family,” one paradegoer said. “COVID had a huge impact on the whole world and on our community, but it’s good to finally be back out supporting our university. Albany State is such a big part of this community, and especially the history of the black community. I am very happy today.”

As many as half of the parade attendees — and most of the participants in the parade — wore masks against the spread of the coronavirus.

A large number of the attendees made the short trip over to the Albany State University Stadium after the parade to watch the ASU Rams take on Edward Waters College in the football team’s homecoming contest.

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