If you think Palo Alto high school kids are too stressed out to have good, old-fashioned fun, you haven’t been to homecoming at our local high schools. Regardless of how busy these teens are with sports, school and more, they are all in when it comes to homecoming. And 2016 was an epic year, especially for the float building at Paly High School.
A little competition never hurts
At Paly, each class competes for the honor of best float in the homecoming parade. And this rivalry draws literally hundreds of students to the shed where the floats are built each year. The junior class had an especially big turnout for 2016, according to Claire Billman, who was the 2016 Spirit Commissioner for the Paly ASB.
“There were over 200 juniors who contributed to this year’s float building,” Claire said. “People helped with design, painting, stuffing the papers, morale, food, music, and more. And the other grades also had between 20 and 40 students working on their floats every day.”
That’s especially impressive when you consider that the float building takes place at night and on the weekend during a few short period of time before homecoming. Despite their demanding schedules, Paly kids show up for float building, and the effort is managed and run by the students themselves (with help from their advisor, Matt Hall).
Junior class wins with “Rumble in the Jungle” theme
Building off their class color- yellow- the juniors designed a float that would feature the legendary boxing match between Muhammed Ali and George Foreman in Zaire (now called Democratic Republic of the Congo). Katie Look created the distinctive ‘shadow’ depiction of the two boxers, which required hours of time to roll colored papers and stuff them into place on the float. “Our class lost to the freshmen last year, so we were inspired to win in 2016,” Claire explained.
All the floats were impressive for both creativity and effort
While the juniors won the competition, the other three grades also put forth amazing floats for 2016 homecoming.
The freshmen featured a jungle theme, including tiger:
The sophomore float had a realistic image of a city in flames, complete with a firefighter coming down a pole:
The senior float was a castle theme, complete with a live princess:
A high bar for next year
How can the students top these amazing floats next year? Knowing Palo Alto kids, they will find a way!
All photos by Matt Hall, Palo Alto High School