Homecoming floats constructed in half the time as usual

Pi Beta Phi deviated from its original plan for Float to instead highlight its philanthropy. Photo courtesy Pi Beta Phi. By Vivian Roach | Staff Writer. This …
Pi Beta Phi deviated from its original plan for Float to instead highlight its philanthropy. Photo courtesy Pi Beta Phi.

By Vivian Roach | Staff Writer

This year’s Homecoming float participants will be showing their work at McLane Stadium for a pep rally on Friday night where the audience can get an up-close look.

“McLane on Friday night will be the big event, the Homecoming event,” Frisco senior Ashley Madden, parade chairperson, said.

Kappa Alpha Order with Alpha Phi, Phi Kappa Chi with Kappa Alpha Theta and Pi Beta Phi will present their floats for judging on Thursday and will be awarded in front of everyone on Friday.

“It’s kind of like after a normal parade they get parked in front of Tidwell to be able to walk over and look at. That’s the general idea,” Madden said. “We’re hoping to draw more of a crowd this year because they’re more front and center, so people can see the work that has gone into them. There will also be a video shown during the prep rally about the work that went into the floats.”

Madden said groups usually work eight weeks on floats, but this year they only had about four weeks to finish.

“They lost originally two weeks when we came back to school, when no organizations could meet and then they also lost an additional week when Baylor extended that,” Madden said. “And so that was the official build time, but I feel like they lost a lot of time over the summer. In normal years, they submit their themes and their designs in the summer. Then, they get approved, and they can start ordering materials and start on the first day of school, but because everything was so up in the air over the summer, it got pushed back.”

Celina senior Ben Whisman, float coordinator, said his expectations in the beginning also changed over time. There were plans for 13 floats from organization chairs, he said, and only three floats remain now.

Portland, Ore. senior Kate Pitcher, float chair for Pi Beta Phi, said they decided to stick with plans for a float because it has been the only activity chapter members are allowed to do together.

“We felt like it would just be unifying for our organization and fun and to be able to take advantage of that opportunity to see each other in person,” Pitcher said.

No float design rules or requirements have changed except for determining the float class, Whisman said. Floats are organized into classes, depending on how much money each group plans to spend. They are judged by class and a grand champion is awarded across all classes usually. This year is a little different.

“They do not have to designate a class standing until they finalize everything and then go, we spent this much money, so we will be in this class,” Whisman said. “That’s completely fine with me. I think we’re going to have one in each category, but that might change to where they all end up in one class. No matter what, I think all of them are still going to be fantastic because I’m still blown away with the amount of time that they’ve had yet the level that they’ve done.”

Pitcher said they stuck with a simpler theme and promoted their philanthropy this year. In doing so, she said that Pi Beta Phi was able to donate $3,000 to their philanthropy with the leftover float budget and plans on donating the 2,000 books used in the float display to elementary school kids.

“Originally, we had picked a theme with the fraternity that we paired with, but when they dropped out, we didn’t feel like we had the building capabilities to continue with that theme,” Pitcher said. “And so because it is kind of a weird year with COVID, we decided to make our float theme our philanthropy, which is ‘Read, Lead, Achieve.’ So chapter members actually donated books to our book displays on the float, and the main feature on our float is a giant rainbow made out of books.”

Baylor alumni won’t be able to see these floats in person though. The pep rally was approved as an in-person event, but to meet social distancing guidelines and safety requirements, only students are allowed to attend in person. Up to 1,000 students will be allowed in each event location at McLane: the stadium, alumni tailgate area and student tailgate area, Madden said.

Need a safe ride home during Homecoming? Here’s one option.

Rides will be provided through the transportation app Lyft, according to a news release. Major Brands, based in Missouri, is a wine and spirits …

No ride for homecoming weekend? No problem.

Major Brands will offer 500 free rides across Columbia on Oct. 20 through their social responsibility program, Safe Home After Every Occasion. Rides will be provided through the transportation app Lyft, according to a news release.

Major Brands, based in Missouri, is a wine and spirits distributor. The business’ mission through the program is to encourage Missourians to plan a safe ride home before consuming alcohol, according to its website.

“The program’s mission is to take the next step in responsible consumption efforts moving from designating a driver to the easiest step of all: planning your ride home,” the release stated.

In order to get a free ride home, Major Brands will post a code on its Facebook and Instagram on Saturday at 7 a.m. which can be redeemed as ride credit on the Lyft app between 4 p.m. and 10 p.m. the same day. Quantities are limited.

Additionally, the Major Brands Safe Home Squad will be giving away free ride home vouchers at the following locations on Thursday and Friday for use on Saturday:

Logboat Brewing Company, Thursday, Oct. 18, 5-6 p.m. Harpo’s Bar and Grill, Thursday, Oct. 18, 6:30-7:30 p.m. Fieldhouse & Willie’s Pub & Pool, Friday, Oct. 19, 7-8 p.m.

This is the second year Major Brands has provided rides during MU’s Homecoming weekend, having given more than 70,000 rides in Missouri so far, according to the release.

The program operates year-round but focuses its efforts during Homecoming celebrations.

“In our business, promoting responsible consumption is the most important thing we can do,” said Major Brands CEO Sue McCollum in a statement. “Homecoming is the perfect occasion to remind Tiger fans that nothing is more important than getting home safe after a Mizzou victory.”

Supervising editor is Sky Chadde.

Teens headed to homecoming say Uber driver told them to get out due to age

Teenagers in Gwinnett County say they were on the way to their homecoming dance when an Uber driver found out they were 16 years old — and …

Teenagers in Gwinnett County say they were on the way to their homecoming dance when an Uber driver found out they were 16 years old — and made them get out of the car.

The four teens were essentially stranded at a busy intersection, near the corner of Grayson Highway and Hillside Drive in Grayson, according to Channel 2 Action News. Uber’s rules do not allow people under 18 to ride without an adult with them, but the students’ parents told the news station that the driver made the wrong decision by making them get out.

Homecoming couples say their evening ruined by an Uber driver. 5:45 pic.twitter.com/TjCcJraLLv

— Berndt Petersen (@BPetersenWSB) October 1, 2018

“They could’ve gotten robbed. They could’ve gotten kidnapped,” said Lucille Robinson, a parent of one of the students.

Another parent picked up the teens and took them to the dance at Grayson High School.