And just like “smokers”, parades bonfires started out as athletic celebrations separate from the Rivalry, but ultimately became intertwined with the traditions of the game.
The tradition of the parade and bonfire dates from the times when cars were still rare, and most of the transportation into South Bethlehem came by the Lehigh Valley Railroad, whose station was only a few blocks from campus.
Bonfires celebrating athletic victories were not unknown in the late 1890s at both Lehigh and Lafayette, as well as parades for successful athletic teams. They may have been inspired by Harvard, Yale and Princeton, who were starting to celebrate their biggest victories over each others with large bonfires.
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