The Torchlight Parade and Rally is the annual spirit event held on campus to show support for the Longhorn football team as they go on to play the University of Oklahoma Sooners in the Red River Shootout in Dallas Texas. The Rally is sponsored by the Texas Exes Student Chapter.
The first Torchlight Parade at UT took place on the day before Thanksgiving (prior to the Texas A&M; game) in 1916. They were held sporadically until 1941 where they became a weekly event before football games.
Originally lead by the Texas Cowboys, a male spirit organization, the Parade is walked on foot with various leaders of spirit organizations holding torches leading the way. The Longhorn Band and the student body follow the torchbearers in the parade. The parade starts at Kinsolving Dormitory located at the northwestern end of campus on Dean Keeton and Whitis Ave. The procession moves south down Guadalupe (the Drag) and turns on 21st Street where it then proceeds up the South Mall to the Main Mall where a "Texas" sized Pep Rally is held to show support for the Longhorn football team.
The rally features performances by a variety of student groups and performers and appearances by the Texas Cheerleaders, (who lead the crowd in cheers) the Longhorn Band, "Smokey" the Cannon and Bevo, the Rally also includes the dropping of a huge Texas Flag that drapes the Main building. The Torchlight Parade and Rally tradition is organized and operated by current students of the University of Texas at Austin with close supervision by members of the Ex Students association.