Cuckoo for Hoco Floats

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What floats your boat? Is it VSCO and disco-themed decorations? What about rappers and hillbillies? How about the Roaring Twenties? What if it were all of the above?

Freshmen’s VSCO vs. Disco-themed float

For the past few years, the members of Cass High School have built floats for the Homecoming parade. Each grade level has its own float that they decorate according to one of the dress-up days. Freshmen have taken Tuesday’s VSCO versus Disco. Sophomores claimed Thursday’s Realist versus Dreamers. Juniors decided to do Wednesday’s Hip-Hop versus Hillbillies. Seniors are embodying Friday’s Blue and Gold theme, but with their own twist: The Roaring Twenties (a parallel to their graduation year, 2020).  Atisham Ajmal, a senior on the homecoming court, states, “The homecoming float idea was honestly the perfect one for us. As seniors who will graduate in 2020, the whole idea of Roaring ’20s was amazing. It’s what I wanted and so did everyone else. So I loved it. It fit perfectly and was so fun to make!”

The sophomores decorated their float with fairy lights and pillows

These floats are made using trailers, whether flatbed or utility. Students from each grade level choose a day and design a float using inspirations from that theme. After drawing a sketch on a piece of paper, they write down all the materials necessary to replicate the idea. The list of materials goes to Mrs. Stefanie Rolen—the Peer Leadership and geometry teacher, as well as the woman responsible for making sure the floats look spectacular—to buy the items. After the materials are collected, the trailers are here, and the students are gathered under the football bleachers, everyone works to build the floats, using anything from beads, paint, wood, tassels, foam, construction paper, tablecloths, to what else they can think of. They only have a few days to work on the floats, so they can’t waste a second of their time. The floats must be done on Wednesday evening, as the trailers will be featured in the Homecoming Parade on Thursday afternoon.

Building these floats is a strenuous feat that involves the help of as many people as possible. It’s often hard to find students that can help, but those that do often have a blast. Bailey Eanes, a senior on the homecoming court, says, “The best part was definitely working with my peers and seeing all of our ideas come to life. Everyone’s ideas were wonderful, and to see all of it come together was extraordinary.”

Juniors’ used hay, CDs, and homemade decorations

However, no accomplishment is ever easy. These floats require plenty of dedication, time, and TLC to look as nice as they do. On top of this, there are always several challenges that arrive each year, from bad weather to time crunches. Each mishap teaches students lifelong skills necessary for their future, such as how to work under pressure and how to overcome obstacles. Karis Linley, the secretary for the senior student council, says, “The most stressful part about building the float was bringing all the seniors’ ideas to life. There was so much more we wanted to do with the float, but with the small amount of time we had, a lot of it never made it to the final product. In the long run, I feel like working with this many people has really tested my patience in the best way possible. There were many moments where I had to allow other people to take over creatively, and in the end, our float looked amazing. [As for developing skills,] teamwork is an obvious one. It sounds cheesy, but the collaboration it took to figure out who could stay after school and who could go and get supplies took way more effort than we thought it would. (Big shout out to Bailey Eanes for pulling us all together. She even got her mom to work on the sign so that we would have it done in time!)”

Everyone on the Homecoming Court must attend these after school sessions and help build the floats. However, if they cannot come themselves (whether due to sports, clubs, work, et cetera), they must have someone fill in for their place. Caleb Doolittle, a senior on the homecoming court, states, “Building floats has always been one of the more fun parts of homecoming. It gives you a chance to incorporate your own ideas and talents to more than just standing on the sidelines. Making it a requirement makes being on homecoming court not just a ‘Oh, cool, sign me up!’ It makes sure that the nominees are dedicated to the school and are willing to put in the extra hours outside the school day.”

When the seniors dressed in ’20s attire and drank sparkling grape juice out of plastic wine glasses, the Roaring ’20s theme really came out!

This year’s parade was on Thursday, October 10, 2019, at 7 p.m. The band led the parade, with the floats and Homecoming Court following behind them. The parade occurred in the parking lot in front of the school. After the parade, the students celebrate with a bonfire, inflatables, and music.

The students and teachers that built the floats worked incredibly hard to get it all done in time while simultaneously making it look as picturesque as they can. It’s pretty safe to say these floats float our boat!