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Floats are avenue for artistic ventures

Matt Carissimi / Lantern Photographer

There was no shortage of glitter, glue and scarlet-and-gray paper during the construction of homecoming floats Wednesday and Thursday in the South Stands of Ohio Stadium.

The first 20 groups that signed up for the parade received a designated space for 12 hours. Some used more time, others less, depending on how elaborate, creative or detailed the project was.

The parade is one of the longest-running traditions here at Ohio State. Each year, a different theme is chosen, such as Meet the Buckeyes in 2002 and Let’s Go Nuts in 2007.

This year’s theme, A State of Pride, gave students a chance to show what they enjoy the most about being a Buckeye, said Tyler Cole, director of marketing and communications for the 2009 Homecoming Parade.

“Buckeye spirit is more like pride,” Cole said in an e-mail. “With this year’s theme, the floats have become a blank canvas for all the student organizations to come out and show their Buckeye spirit, which we all know is just as contagious as a smile.”

The students who attended the second float-building session on Thursday were ready and willing to share what Buckeye pride means to them.

“Being at Ohio State just feels like home. I just have a sense of pride and connection to the campus and to the atmosphere,” said Nathaniel Thomas, a second-year.

“Buckeye pride to me is being proud to wear my colors and being excited to go to the football games,” said Amanda Kleiman, a third-year in photography. “[And} being a good student all around, wanting to get involved and participate in what’s going on around campus.”

Each year, student organizations are welcome to submit a float application. Usual participants include sports teams, greek organizations, cultural organizations and special-purpose groups.

The students work hard to represent not only the assigned theme but also to incorporate their organizations into the design.

The American Welding Society tied in Saturday’s big game with its float design by portraying Brutus as a welder who built a cage around the University of Minnesota’s mascot, a gopher.

Kappa Delta sorority, along with its fraternity pairings for Homecoming Week, chose to incorporate its Greek letters while representing a favorite spot on campus: Mirror Lake.

Students work hard to imagine, design and create floats year after year. The OSU tradition seems to be going strong.

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