FIU Community Drives Together in Homecoming Caravan Carnival

Featured image of Homecoming banner taken by: Jordan Coll

Jordan Coll and Valentina Palm/ Staff Writers

FIU students, parents, and alumni drove in front of the Ricardo Silva Stadium this Saturday, to celebrate FIU’s Homecoming football game.

FIU CASE and the President’s Council hosted the Homecoming Caravan Carnival to compensate for canceled tailgates and on-campus events because of COVID-19.

The university will host football games this season but stadium capacity is reduced by 20 percent. 

This year, homecoming was celebrated with online and socially distanced events, such as the Panthermonium virtual concert and a drive-by Panthers Got Talent competition.

Cars decorated with blue and gold balloons and banners passed along the football stadium hours before the first home game of the season.

Participants received drive-through giveaways from local vendors such as Bolay, Diced food, Cafe La Llave, and Mini Doughnut World.

The Diaz family decorating their car hours before after the first home football game of the season photo taken: Valentina Palm

FIU Alumni Miriam and Max Diaz, brought their nephew Adam Diaz to FIU football games since his freshman year of highschool.

Now a mathematics sophomore, Adam Diaz is happy the family was able to continue their tradition of attending football games despite COVID-19.

“It gives me something to root for and enjoy in these hard times,” Adam Diaz said as the family decorated the car in the parking lot near the stadium.

The Diaz family usually tailgates at MMC before every football game, with family and other alumni they met during their time at FIU.

“Just having this, even though its not regular tailgating with our friends, at least to have a little bit of normalcy is refreshing,” Miriam Diaz said. 

FIU freshman Amanda Guerrera attending her first FIU event photo taken: Valentina Palm

Amanda Guerrera, 26, got accepted to FIU this summer and the caravan was her first university event. She will start a bachelors in hospitality management this upcoming spring semester and wanted to celebrate becoming a Panther. 

“I came to celebrate my new school and join my classmates in homecoming,” Guerra said.

Guerrera brought her younger sister Yasmin Piloto, 24, to the caravan with hopes she will soon transfer to FIU.

The Fatal family participating with their son and newborn photo taken: Valentina Palm

FIU Alumni Ayleen and Dani Fatal participated in the caravan and brought their son and newborn baby.

“This is a great opportunity to show some Panther Spirit for homecoming,” said Ayleen who usually attends FIU football games with her family.

First-year electrical engineering student Sweta Gupa headed towards Ricardo Silva Stadium photo taken by: Valentina Palm

Sweta Gupa, a freshman from India majoring in electrical engineering was motivated to see others come out in support of FIU pride.

“I think just the fact we have people coming out to support FIU says something, especially with the pandemic going on,” said Gupa.

FIU professor Joerg Reinhold decorated his car for caravan photo taken by: Valentina Palm

Physics professor Joerg Reinhold joined the caravan and decorated the hood of his car with stuffed animals wearing FIU merchandise. He included Roary, the FIU mascot, administering a COVID-19 injection.

FIU sweethearts Ximena Cuadro (left) and Giancarlo Siero (right) decorated their truck photo taken by: Jordan Coll

Ximena Cuadro and Giancarlo Siero met during their undergrad education in FIU and are now married. They came to the caravan in support of the university.

“My husband and I both studied and met each other here brought great memories, while giving  off some panther spirit,” said Cuadro

Caravan photos will be posted below.

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