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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Haunted Homecoming presents opportunity for festive floats

    Logan Cook

    Homecoming is scheduled for Oct. 27-29 this year, enabling student groups and clubs to show school spirit while celebrating the Halloween holiday with elaborate floats.

    There are seven Homecoming floats this year out of 48 entries in the parade. Students, clubs, organizations and alumni will parade from Cherry Avenue around the UA Mall starting at 3:45 p.m. on Saturday. The parade will be preceded by the Wildcat for Life Tailgate Party.

    “This year with Haunted Homecoming it was nice to be able to have a really good theme, as far as something that the students could grasp and really be creative with,” Jill Hall said, vice president of Alumni Engagement and Innovation for the University of Arizona Alumni Association.

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    Hall said that most people celebrate Halloween and decorations are easily available.

    “This theme I think made it a little bit easier for the students to participate,” Hall said.

    Andrés Martinez, Student Alumni Ambassadors co-float chair, said that SAA wanted to try to do something a little different, so they are making a Day of the Dead float.

    “We’re going to make an altar to commemorate John Button Salmon,” Martinez said.

    John Button Salmon was a UA athlete and student body president who lost his life after a car accident. His legend started the slogan “Bear Down” for UA athletics. According to the UA’s The Story of Bear Down, “The coach at the time, J.F. ‘Pop’ McKale, had visited Salmon in the hospital regularly before his death, and later told the squad the young athlete’s last message to his teammates was, ‘Tell them … tell the team to bear down.’”

    Dylan Averill, Student Alumni Ambassadors co-float chair, said he enjoys being able to mix school spirit and Halloween.

    “We’re trying to find that mix between how much the UA, how much Halloween — what’s going to be the best overall,” Averill said.

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    The floats are judged for competition based on school spirit, adhering to the Homecoming theme, overall energy and the detail and aesthetic of the float. Averill said Homecoming is usually held in November, so they mainly focused on school spirit when creating Homecoming floats for previous years.

    “I think we might win it this year,” Averill said. There will be two people dressed in Day of the Dead costumes dancing on the float and other members of the club walking alongside the float pumping up the crowd and passing out candy.

    “They’re going to be handing out candy, kind of just pumping up the crowd as we go down the Mall,” Averill said.

    The parade and other events during UA Homecoming are hosted by the UA Alumni Association.

    “We hope that people will come out to the Mall and enjoy it,” Hall said. “It’s fun and we love doing it for everybody, so we hope to see a lot of people out there.”

    Follow Isaac Andrews on Twitter.

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