54th annual Parade of Favorites to showcase new Cirque Du Solee theme

54th annual Parade of Favorites to showcase new Cirque Du Solee theme

Courtesy of the Lee University Office of Publications

Lee University's Parade of Favorites (POF) has been shaken up this year with the new theme of Cirque Du Solee, a play on words depicting a whimsical production with elements drawn from the Canadian Entertainment Company, Cirque Du Soleil.

The contestants embraced the circus theme during the promotional photo-shoot, which featured the girls dressed as colorful animals with their escorts donning all black.

POF Student Director Sydney Wojewoda was excited to create such a new, eccentric theme in contrast to past Parade of Favorites motifs.

“In the past, we have seen a lot of classy stuff, so we really wanted it to kind of have something completely different,” Wojewoda said. “Especially with the personalities we have…they want to dance, they want to have fun, they are very, very confident in themselves. It ended up being a perfect theme to choose for them.”

Since 1962, campus clubs have sent contestants to represent their groups to be a part of this service-minded pageant.

In addition to the new theme, POF will also include a recorder-breaking 15 clubs, several of which have not previously been featured in the contest such as A-Force and Cleveland Against Sex Trafficking.

The addition of more diverse clubs is one aspect that many people involved in POF seem to praise, including Joyce Lane, secretary to the director of facilities management.

“I think it’s great that more groups and clubs are being represented,” Lane said. “I think that’s what it should be about is all the groups on campus sending a representative. It is definitely unique. I definitely like it better where it is not just greek clubs.”

She has also seen POF grow over the years both as a former contestant and as a returning master of ceremonies.

“I was M.C. in 2012 for the 50th POF,” Lane said. “I was actually a contestant in POF when I was at Lee in 2001 when I was third runner-up…it was [representing] Upsilon.”

While POF continues to increase in size, it has also seen growth in the service aspect of the event. Wojewoda said that in previous years each contestant chose an organization as their platform, but this year the whole cast will represent and serve one organization.

“Currently we want to do where we just have one organization and that is what we focus on,” Wojewoda said. “And [this year] that is Operation Christmas Child. We just had our service project last Thursday and we did 100 boxes.”

Wojewoda said she hopes the production can capitalize on these changes and continue to grow, as it has done each year.

Pi Kappa Pi Representative Ashley Resto is also looking forward to the event after working hard this semester to prepare.

“I think the most exciting part has been getting to know new people,” Resto said. “People that you would never really cross paths with unless you were in Parade of Favorites together, which is really cool.”

Resto added that the contestants have grown to have good relationships throughout the event preparation.

“We all didn’t really know each other and now it’s just like one big happy family,” Resto said. “We look forward to going to rehearsals and hanging out with each other. We all push each other and encourage each other and challenge each other when it comes to the dances and stuff.”

Lane said it is a nice surprise to see the production growing in that way and she is looking forward to the event on Saturday.

Parade of Favorites, Cirque Du Solee will be presented on November 12 at 7:00 p.m. in the Conn Center. No tickets are required for admission and all are welcome to attend.

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