PHOTOS: 2013 Homecoming Parade
Friday, October 25, 2013 - 830 hits
It may not be on the same scale as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, but the Penn State Altoona Homecoming parade still requires a lot of work and organization, especially when it comes to designing and building the floats. It can be a creative, technical endeavor that requires teamwork, skill, and patience. Luckily, students in the seven organizations that built floats this year had all of that.
Each group first had to come up with an idea for their float that matched the theme of Homecoming, “Ignite the Blue and White.” After tossing around ideas and sketching them out, students turned to the internet to order their supplies. And then came the hard part. “We worked on this probably four full days. We have more than eighty hours into this thing, I’d guess,” says Zachary Yukas about the THON float, complete with castle towers, fire (not real), stars, and banners.
Although it actually is a competition between organizations, students say they don’t get involved just to win a first-place prize. “It’s just so much fun. I really love working together in a group on the float, even through all of the tedious stuff,” says sophomore Chip Houston. And some of the work is tedious, because even though most of the decorations come already made, they still need to be assembled and put into working order. “One part took us four hours because it’s a working arch,” says Candice Gerenza, representing the Campus Activities Board. “But it’s ok. I love working with the group, they’re all so enthusiastic and all want to throw their ideas out. It’s awesome.”
Andrew O’Conner represents Greek Life. The sophomore from Philadelphia found himself on the Homecoming Court, which both surprised and flattered him. It’s been all things Homecoming for a solid week for him, but he doesn’t mind. “I like getting involved; the more involved you are, the better known you are around campus and the more friends you make. It’s just a lot of fun.”
The tradition of hosting a Homecoming parade began back in 1970. Over the years, it faded out but was renewed and revamped in 2010. This year more than thirty different units participated including the student organizations, community agencies, local politicians, and the Jaffa Shriners.
By the time the parade started Thursday evening, it was a whopping 38 degrees. Shivering in winter coats, hats, and gloves, the students were still smiling, though, enthusiastic and proud.
“It’s Homecoming and Homecoming season and we like to show we’re here,” states Gerenza. “This is Penn State, and we like showing the community our organizations and all of the great things we do. Of course we like showing off our cool floats, too.” Adds Yukas, “It’s so worth it because we have an amazing float we worked on together and built with our own hands. Plus it’s a way to give back to the community.”
Based on creativity, decoration, costuming, representation of the Homecoming theme and enthusiasm of the group, the Campus Activities Board float took home the first place finish, which included a lion shrine trophy and bragging rights.
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