The approach of the UA's 2011 Red, Blue and Bold Homecoming has kept campus fraternities laboring over their floats, placing finishing touches and preparing them for Saturday's parade.
In the hopes of extending its 12-year winning streak, the UA's engineering fraternity, Theta Tau, has been building its float for three weeks, according to Parker Imperl, an engineering management senior and vice regent of Theta Tau. Imperl said they took the main concept from last year's float and incorporated it as a part of this year's.
"We're having a gigantic rocket fly over Old Main ... We're taking a big idea and putting it on the back burner and just using it as a supporting feature," Imperl said. "I think that shows we're confident that it's going to trump everything that we've done before, maybe not everybody else, but what we've done, and we only really work to improve on ourselves."
Imperl said this year's float will be made mostly from wood, cardboard and recycled materials from previous floats. Since the creation of Theta Tau's sustainability committee three years ago, the fraternity has been dismantling its entire float after Homecoming and recycling and reusing whatever it can.
"There was a tradition in the past to destroy (the float) ... then we said why are we wasting all these materials? So we started saving them and storing them at our house," Imperl said.
David Badger, a civil engineering senior and member of Theta Tau, said he plans to wear red body paint and lead the float down the UA Mall.
"Homecoming is the most exciting time of the year," Badger said. "It's really where you can show all your school spirit. I'm screaming at the top of my lungs out there and leading the parade and our float."
The Associated Students of the University of Arizona's float, being built by the Freshman Class Council, has been in the works for the past several weeks, according to Valerie Hanna, a political science freshman and a member of the council.
"It's definitely going to be pretty theatrical, but also incorporate a lot of U of A traditions because that's what the student government of the UA is all about," Hanna said.
Hanna said she's heard Theta Tau "is the one to beat," but is confident in ASUA's efforts.
"We feel like our idea will give them a run for their money," she said. "We're going to try our best to execute as well as we can."
The Pi Kappa Phi fraternity's goal for this Homecoming is to boost the morale of the UA's football team, according to fraternity member Parker Stewart, an economics freshman. Stewart said the float will include a football helmet and goal posts.
"We're just having a lot of fun out there. We're all really excited for the parade and for homecoming," Hanna said. "It's just awesome to finally be a part of all the traditions here at the UA."
This story first appeared in the Nov. 4, 2011 edition of the Arizona Daily Wildcat.