October 7, 2009
By Rebecca Howard
The 2009 Homecoming Parade will take place at 4:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 9.
Every fall, Colorado State University students and Fort Collins residents alike line the streets of Old Town or gather around the Oval to watch the annual homecoming parade. But few people recognize the time it takes to design, build, and paint, or make hundreds of tiny paper flowers that adorn the exterior of a parade float.
Each year, the students of Construction Management show their Ram pride through hours of dedication to create a masterfully crafted float.
According to Terrance Unrein, president of the Construction Management Student Board of Directors, anywhere from 20 to 40 students help build the float each year. The process for designing and constructing a float takes longer than one might think.
First, they hold a design development meeting, where all construction management students are welcome, to generate ideas based on the homecoming theme. From there, they hold smaller meetings to finalize design and work out details.
Once they know what they want to build, they have to figure out how they will get the needed materials in order to make their design a reality. According to Unrein, they rely mainly on donations.
“The construction industry is a big advocate and asset to our department and they continuously display much generosity by donating materials and equipment for our float,” he said.
In addition to donations they receive through outreach efforts with the construction industry, they also receive a float funding grant from ASCSU, which all student organizations can apply for.
Finally, the students can move on to the construction phase. They start building the float about two weeks prior to the parade in the Industrial Sciences lab on campus.
“This year our Homecoming Committee Chair is our Director of Operations, Jeb Bair, and he has been working countless hours to make this process effective and efficient,” Unrein said.
Participating in float building is particularly enjoyable for the students of Construction Management because it provides them with an opportunity to showcase their skills in design and construction, as well as their pride for their university.
“The department of construction management chooses to enter the homecoming float competition each year because this provides us with the opportunity to display our dedication, service, and commitment to the CSU and Fort Collins communities,” Unrein said. “Constructing amazing floats is an ideal way for us to display our student involvement and passion, but most importantly, this is fun for us and we enjoy putting our construction skills to use for a great cause.”
And their dedication has paid off, as the department of construction management has won first place in the float competition for the last six years in a row. Unrein is confident that this year’s entry will ‘wow’ the parade spectators like they have in previous years.
“I believe we will produce an amazing end product,” Unrein said. “We have some very innovative features that I cannot expose right now but I hope everyone enjoys what we build.”
The Homecoming Parade will begin at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 9. The parade route starts at the intersection of Howes Street and Oak Street and continues south on Howes, through the Oval, across university plaza and ends on campus at Meridian Avenue and University Avenue at the West Lawn of the Lory Student Center.