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    Spalding University loves rats-The Rat Race runs for 40th year
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    Spring in Louisville means Derby is right around the corner, unless you are a student or alum of Spalding University; then it means The Rat Race is near. Forty years ago, Sister Julia Clare Fontaine heard students talking about the "rat race" of finals week. As a means to alleviate the stress of the closing Spring semester at Spalding, Sister Julia Clare immediately took to the track - a very small track, that is.

    The "Most exciting 2 seconds in sports", according to Trivial Pursuit, allows students, staff, and professors to train rats to run in hopes of capturing the coveted garland of fruit-o's, sometimes confused with the popular Fruit Loops cereal. Emcee and gracious host Dawn Gee of WAVE 3 amazingly brings students, faculty, staff, and alums together at "Spalding Downs" in the Ballroom, once a year to celebrate rats with names like, Lady Luck, Roulette, Burlesque and LibeRATce. A mere .024 furlongs and an average 1.8 seconds pass by until one rat is lucky, or smart enough to finish the course

    A fun-filled parade takes a route from 4th and Breckenridge Streets down to Broadway and back up 3rd prior to the Rat Race. Trolleys from TARC, Louisville Metro Fire Department, and each school & department of Spalding are well represented in the parade, throwing candy to supporters lined along 4th and 3rd Streets. Spalding President, Tori Murden McClure walks at the head of the parade to signify her support for this time honored tradition in the Spalding community.

    Each year, a specific theme for the Rat Race is chosen by Spalding students. Themes in the recent past have included, "The Year of the Rat" in the Chinese zodiac; "Peace, Love, and Rats"; and this year's theme, "Viva Rat Vegas". Stay tuned to Spalding University's website for details on next year's Rat Race - more fun than one can expect over a garland of O's.

    President Tori leads the parade in her finist Vegas style
    Love the beard.
    A lot of time went into this hat.
    For anyone who saw National Lampoon's - laugh out loud, now.
    The nursing students always have a great turnout for the parade
    OT does not stand for Overtime, in this case
    The best job at the Rat Parade - getting to wear the rat head
    The Faculty & Staff dressed appropriately for the occasion
    Looks like a smart little rat enjoys the parade
    Vegas themed trucks allowed students to ride along the parade route
    The Spalding community is tight - friends for life are made here.
    These three young ladies brought Vegas to Louisville during the parade
    It isn't a parade until a boat with Vegas show girls is seen on the route
    These ladies had a blast dressing in Vegas themed outfits
    I think the ABA students work with humans, and not just rats.
    LMFD brought a very large fire truck with them
    A great excuse to dress with the theme of the Rat Parade
    Spalding U's athletics department followed behind President Tori
    Athletes across all sports attended the Rat Parade
    Campus was covered with balloons to celebrate the big day
    ABA=Applied Behavior Analysis. They help to train the rats to race
    Dr. Randy Strickland was in true Vegas form - looks like a card shark.
    The littlest of fans took to the streets to see the parade
    Strike a pose - lovin' the hat dude!
    It isn't a Rat Parade without a rat car
    ...and that car must have a tail
    Elvis helps "push" the parade down 3rd Street
    Every race in Kentucky has the best hats for supporters
    ...and those hats must have rats on them
    Elvis entertained the crowd lined on 3rd and 4th Streets
    Juice Newton taught us all not to play with the Queen of Hearts, but Aces are okay.
    The best thing about Vegas could be the gambling, the second are the outfits
    The creativity shown in this event makes it all the more fun for students

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    Allison Ray's picture

    About Allison Ray

    I am a big fan of Louisville and the diverse culture we enjoy in terms of the arts and entertainment. I love attending local events, taking pictures of almost anything, and relaxing at home with a good book!

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