Once upon a homecoming: Students prepare fairytale-themed floats for upcoming parade

Story by Sydni Anderson, Staff writer

Photo courtesy of Kelli O’ Toole

Once upon a time there was homecoming. A King and Queen were coronated and football players brandishing jerseys of blue and gold fought the opponent for touchdowns. A parade with campus organizations celebrated the occasion, each with a float fit for a fairy tale.

Murray State’s homecoming is on the horizon, approaching with a theme that might spur flashbacks to Disney Classics: Once Upon a Homecoming. This theme will be evident in the homecoming parade where trailers decorated with paper mache and chicken wire allude to fairytale favorites. Some organization representatives share teasers on their floats and talk about how they are celebrating homecoming.

Paige Malone, alumnae relations chair of Murray State’s Alpha Omicron Pi chapter, said she is in charge of handling float and tent city planning. She said their float’ theme is Peter Pan.

“We are paired with Pike this year and they had a lot of great ideas to go along with it,” Malone said. “That was our first choice because we felt it appealed to both guys and girls vs. a princess fairytale like Cinderella.”

Malone said the sorority’s main job in preparing the float is to pomp, or stick small squares of colored tissue paper through chicken wire. She said on top of that, they were in charge of choosing paint colors and making sure everything meshed well together.

“We talked over ideas with the Pikes but they had an excellent imagination and execution of their ideas,” Malone said. “We were very impressed with their creativity.”

Malone said the Pikes have gone above and beyond in helping. From the location of float decorating to designing/engineering the float and even buying everyone pizza for dinner while they worked one night.

“They have been so great,” she said.

Malone said her favorite part of homecoming is the game but also getting together with all of their alumni.

“It’s fun for us to hear about how things were during their time as actives and I’m sure they enjoy seeing their chapter today,” Malone said.

Brett Sorrels, homecoming representative of Pi Kappa Alpha at Murray State University, said the fraternity has already built a large portion of the float.

“The design will consist of the front of the float being a giant pirate ship similar to Captain Hook’s in Peter Pan with the Big Ben English clock tower on the back,” Sorrels said. “There will be more to come than that but I will withhold the rest of the details until the parade.”

Sorrels said members of both organizations are very excited for the parade. He said Pike enjoys having the time to spend on projects like the float because it allows them to hangout and work together as a group in a relaxed environment.

“I am not afraid to say this will probably be one of the largest floats in the parade so no one will have any trouble spotting it,” Sorrels said. “With the help of the brothers and sisters, this project will become nothing short of spectacular.”

Danielle Martin, president of Murray State’s Kappa Delta chapter, said the sorority is decorating the float like Snow White. Like Malone and Sorrels, Martin said building the floats brings the organization together.

“Lots of late nights spent pomping and painting and putting last minute details on really allows relationships to grow because that requires everyone to work together,” Martin said. “Building and decorating the float is definitely something that we all have fond memories looking back on years past.”

Martin said the organization will have a tent at Tent City for alumnae and a large group is attending the game together. Kappa Delta is teaming up with Sigma Chi to build the float.

Dalton Shewcraft is president of Murray State’s Sigma Chi chapter. Shewcraft said building a float allows brothers to contribute different talents and establish relationships with others in the Greek community like the women of Kappa Delta.

He said Sigma Chi alumni are coming to town to revisit their home in Murray and reconnect with other brothers through Tent City and a golf scramble at Miller Golf Course.

Other organizations that will be represented at the homecoming parade are Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) with an Aladdin-themed float, Sigma Alpha and Alpha Tau Omega with The Little Mermaid, Alpha Gamma Delta and Alpha Sigma Phi with Beauty and the Beast, Sigma Alpha Iota and Phi Mu Alpha with the Wizard of Oz, Delta Zeta and Sigma Pi with Hansel and Gretel, Sigma Sigma Sigma and Alpha Gamma Rho with Cinderella, Regents College with Shrek and Phi Kappa Tau with Homecoming is for the Boys. Murray State will play Eastern Kentucky University at homecoming on Oct. 28 at 3 p.m.