The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

The Oracle

The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

The Oracle

The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

The Oracle

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Construction; collaboration built with camaraderie

Student dedication to float construction’s longstanding tradition

Dating back to South’s very first years, the flourishing tradition of float construction has returned again in a striking new way. Typical September scents of pumpkin spice, crisp leaves, and raw wood took control of float constructors during the weeks of Sept. 18-22 and 26-29, Mark Maranto, student activities director, said.

 Although the event itself was devastating, the fire in May failed to devastate student’s annual collaboration to make sparks fly at the parade.

“Because of the woodshop being under construction [floats looked] different [this year],” Maranto said. “The floats [were] more theatrical.”

Senior Tali Gankin, Student Council Vice President, described the eccentric qualities that sets float construction apart from typical club meetings at South. Student council shows constructors how to turn pieces of styrofoam and wooden blocks into four-wheeled scenery.

“My favorite part is all of the construction and designing you get to do,” Gankin said. “It’s something you don’t really get to do in other clubs because you build [the floats] from the ground up.”

South’s 2023 homecoming theme, Hollywood: South on the Big Screen, guided students through their design process, Maranto said. Large mechanical pieces are excluded from the float, leaving room for skirt murals draped around the bed and expressive painted backdrops to further accentuate each movie scene, Maranto said. 

The four classes individually represented an iconic movie in their float, Maranto said.  Freshmen explored Jurassic Park, sophomores chose Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory, juniors selected Inside Out, and seniors took on the magic of The Wizard of Oz. Each class works to create an award-winning float, Maranto added. Sophomore Oscar Murphy agreed that competition calls for tenacity.  

“We have to not slack off, [competition] forces us to persevere and work hard.” Murphy said.

For a week, the flow of brush strokes expanded through the West Cafeteria before a redirect to the autos bay where drilling and hammering subsided, Maranto explained. Gankin found the rush that occurred during the time frame led student collaboration to defeat stress.

“It happens in such a short amount of time, [it takes] only a week of work to make it happen and make it happen well,” Maranto said.

The after school hours of float construction were consumed by painting, cutting, and motivational music, but most importantly, relationships were built alongside floats.

“[Float construction] is a great bonding exercise for all people from their class who want to participate and come and pitch in on the float,” Maranto said.


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