Until the early '80s Furman football was played at Sirrine Stadium downtown. This gave student access to all of downtown for their parade route. This photo shows the Sigma Alpha Epsilon float for a 1950's homecoming game against Florida.
But with the move of football to the new campus, the students lost space for a full parade. Which leads to today's reinterpretation of the parade. Instead of the floats moving by the stationary crowd, now the crowd moves by the stationary floats.