Building up floats and excitement

Freshmen students work hard to build an amazing float to represent their class. It will be featured along with the other floats during Friday’s homecoming parade, which starts at 1 p.m. at Athan Downs Park.

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Freshmen students work hard to build an amazing float to represent their class. It will be featured along with the other floats during Friday’s homecoming parade, which starts at 1 p.m. at Athan Downs Park.

Jessica Yuan, Staff Writer

Put together a few dozen students, a vehicle, and some power tools and the product will be one of the many creative and vibrant floats that represent each class in the annual Homecoming Parade on Friday.

In this year’s parade, each class will express their unique identities through the  theme of “Lands.” The seniors will display Candyland, juniors the Land of Oz, the sophomores Stranded on an Island, and the freshmen Alice in Wonderland.

One change confronting students this year will be fitting their floats on smaller vehicles.

Because of complications with flatbed trucks used in previous years, students will display their floats on smaller U-Haul utility trailers this year.

This may pose as a challenge to students as this six-by-eight foot trailer, only slightly larger than a regular pick-up truck, is a lot more compact than what is needed to comfortably attach all the decorations. But students have said that their productions will not disappoint.

For those who have been through the process, they are fully prepared for what is in store to downsize their floats from the 24×6 flatbeds.

Senior Joy McCreary, a four year float-building veteran, has plenty of experience dealing with floats and with spearheading the building process.

“Even though it’s challenging, it’s exciting to figure out how to build it,” said McCreary, “We’re not professional engineers, but we always manage to find a way.”

The entire process of designing and constructing the floats is completely student run. The success of these operations is run entirely on the creativity and  teamwork dedicated by those who work behind-the-scenes to make each class’s spirit come alive.

Each class has a member who hosts the building at his or her house, where students meet twice every week for two hours to construct their floats. After a whole month, these hours add up to quite a lot of dedication and effort, but to the students working on the floats, it’s always worth it in the end.

Each year’s float building groups always see a great combination of newcomers and old-timers, which offers a diverse community for students to meet new friends and people in their class community.

“If you’re on the border of joining, you should just try it out,” said McCreary. “It’s a super fun and supporting group of people.”

Float builders have also said that the best part of the entire process is seeing the final product come together and knowing that their hard work has paid off.

“The feeling when it is finished is a mixture of relief and awe,” said junior Drew McCarthy. “To see this project that took around a month to do finally be put together and out there in the parade is just amazing.”

In terms of its technicalities, each float has an estimated $250 set aside for its decoration.

This money comes from class  funds, along with the rollover money from fund-raising events throughout the school year.

The floats will be driven along Athan Downs, Davona Drive, Pine Valley, and eventually Broadmoor Drive to Cal High during the homecoming parade on Friday afternoon.

They will also be displayed at the football game that night where each float will be judged to determine which is the fairest of them all.

Students who have worked on the floats will then have the honor of breaking apart their floats to be taken away by dump trucks.

Wherever these floats end up, students coming to the Homecoming parade or football game should all take a moment to support and admire these amazing works of art.