Creating parade floats is artistic, fun group activity

Category:  The Arts
Wednesday, October 7th, 2015 at 10:48 PM
Creating parade floats is artistic, fun group activity by Anna Ashcraft
A homecoming float from 2014 is pictured above. The parade will take place this year, on Saturday, Oct. 10 at 11 a.m. | Contributed Photo

It’s that time of year again, Homecoming.

You know what that means: the annual parade, the golf outing, disc golf around campus, the student art show and sale, the Red Raiders alumni dinner, international dance and fashion show, pep rally, coronation of the king and queen, Erie Philharmonic Free Pops concert, the kilted mile, kidszone, president’s lunch and the pumpkin launch.

The town will be packed with people and lots of events are happening, so get ready to celebrate Homecoming weekend.

This years’ theme is “BoroPalooza Goes Hollywood,” so dress up as your favorite celebrity or character and come down to see the parade Saturday, Oct. 10 at 11 a.m.

The process of making the parade floats is artistic, but also a fun group activity. You can bond with friends while putting together the pieces of wire, cardboard and tape.

“My group is my friends and we are just creating memories as we make these characters together,” Kelsey Adams, early childhood education and special education major at Edinboro University, said.

“It helps prepare us as we go out into the field, and student teaching, to work with our co-op. From laughing to accidentally getting paint on one another, to exploring our own selves and what we are really capable of doing.”

Kelsey Adams’ group, the education majors float theme is the Peanuts Gang; other education groups are doing a box of popcorn, “The Lion King” and others.

“In class we shouted out ideas pertaining to that and from there we got into seven groups to create seven different characters and something that pertains to old Hollywood,” Adams said.

Stephanie Graybill, RA coordinator of Highlands 2, talked about Highlands 1 and 2’s float that the RAs are building together.

“Our theme because we are partnering with Highlands 1 is paparazzi; kind of the whole theme is everyone’s a star when you live in Highlands 1 and 2. Some of the residents will dress up like movie stars, others like paparazzi taking pictures of them,” Graybill said.

“Our float is one of the smaller floats and it will incorporate a vehicle and walking around the vehicle with glitzy props and costumes. We just started working on it this week.”

This is the first year the residents are involved with making parade floats.

“The staff is trying to have a hands-off approach. We had them vote on suggestions for themes; this came out as one of the more popular options and something that is doable for us, so we ordered some supplies and we’re here to facilitate for them. We encourage them to do it themselves and really take ownership and a tradition that they want to keep doing,” Graybill said.

Some floats will incorporate cars, while horses are allowed. Creating a float takes a lot of teamwork and vision.

“We look at it more as a bonding activity, so that’s been good, having the residents work together and take ownership. We don’t have super high expectations for how artistic it will look, but it’s just getting everybody out and involved. No promises about what it will look like in the end,” Graybill said.

Making a float consists of a good amount of artistic vision. But it is not the main goal, unless you’re competing. The main goal is to have fun while working and bonding with your group.

Adams mentioned her groups’ characters are made with a fair amount of papier-mâché, chicken wire, cardboard, paint, tape and anything else that can be used. Graybill’s float is made of glitzy things.

Be sure to check out the parade Saturday, Oct. 10 at 11 a.m. with local vendors and Kidszone after the parade.

Rules and regulations of the parade can be found on Edinboro University’s events page.

Anna Ashcraft is The Arts Editor for The Spectator. She can be reached at

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