The Homecoming Float: An Extraordinary Oxymoron
Published: Friday, October 22, 2010
Updated: Monday, May 23, 2011 16:05
Float, n.: a vehicle with a platform used to carry an exhibit in a parade; also: the vehicle and exhibit together. - Merriam-WebsterI've never participated in Furman's Homecoming festivities before (shocking, I know, as a junior AND sorority sister), so I'm very excited for this year and the competitions: making a banner, designing a t-shirt, chalking, performing a skit, cheering...but despite all of the anticipation and excitement, there's one thing that I just can't seem to understand: building a stationary float. What?! If we want to call it a "scene-" or "set-building" contest, okay. Or, to pull in the above definition: an "exhibit" contest, perhaps? If not, then we need to make some serious revisions.
How about providing a trailer of some sort for each Homecoming participant and then providing parameters regarding weights and dimensions in which each may build?
The trailers could be rented or donated and then returned or stored after the weekend. On Saturday morning, a parade of sorts could be put on so that everyone could view the floats. Trucks or SUVs could pull the trailers and floats on display behind them around campus: around the mall once or twice, maybe even going up by Paladin Stadium so that other game attendees and alumni.
Float construction could be done at the same time and could remain on the mall in everyone's designated areas. However, instead of building sets early Thursday morning, students could begin work on their "stages."
I'm not just quibbling over words here. (Though I will concede that I have been known to do that, this truly is not one of those times.) No, I really think that having a parade or moving display of some sort would provide entertainment for the Furman community and beyond and get people even more hyped up for Homecoming.
As it is, we are making Homecoming contestants put in an awful lot of work for an artistic display of mere hours - and then requiring MORE work from passersby who wish to view everyone's hard work by requiring them to walk around the mall. Not that walking is bad - I'm all for fitness - but wouldn't it be more fun to have moving floats on trailers that at least make a lap around the mall?
I also really support going green and reducing our greenhouse gas output and fuel consumption, but when we are already being so wasteful with all of the production materials, it's hard for me to see the impact of a few extra drivers for a few minutes.
We can have the cheerleaders ride around in an SUV, ringing a bell for every single home game...can't we have a few more vehicles come out for a special occasion?
Emily Barksdale, '12, is majoring in Asian Studies