For journalism junior Erica Zazo, the week of MSU Homecoming is a special time of year.
There’s a sense of Spartan spirit with all the activities leading up to the Homecoming football game — especially when your spirit has the chance to be displayed on the field at halftime, she said.
Zazo, vice president of marketing and memberships services for the Student Alumni Foundation, or SAF, was one member of about 10 groups who hurriedly worked to build a Homecoming float in Spartan Stadium in near-freezing temperatures Wednesday.
“The most exciting part is the reward of having people look at your float and be like, ‘Wow, that looks awesome,’” Zazo said.
The MSU Homecoming Parade will begin at 6 p.m. Friday at the corner of Abbot Road and Burcham Drive and end at the Auditorium. The parade also will be viewable from a live stream online at homecoming.msu.edu.
About 10 trailers were situated along the ground floor of Spartan Stadium near the student section, allowing organizations, such as MSU Model United Nations, Tower Guard and MSU Black Alumni, to work on their Homecoming floats during the few hours of the day they are allowed into the stadium.
Zazo said groups have from about 5-11 p.m. Monday through Thursday to start and complete their group’s floats before being displayed in the parade.
“After … skipping homework and class to be able to be out here, I think it’ll pay off to know that people appreciate the hard work we put into it,” Zazo said.
And although the groups working on different floats will be competing against each other for two free tickets to the Homecoming football game and the chance to display their float on the field at halftime Saturday, each team agreed on one thing: the struggles all are worth it to show off their final product.
“It’s great to see everyone’s faces — that’s what makes it for me,” said Drew Somsel, who led the Homecoming float building for the MSU Horticulture Club. “To see the reactions we get … even just building it (at Spartan Stadium), people walking by have gotten really excited, and that makes us feel really good that we’ve done a good job, and it makes us want to win that much more.”
Somsel, a horticulture senior, said he looks forward to passing out pumpkins from the float. He said kids were so excited about getting free pumpkins last year the club decided to increase the amount available from about 20 last year to about 100 this year.
Several members of the float-building groups also said they enjoy working with their fellow organization members, as it creates a chance to get to know each other outside their typical environment.
“It adds so … much to being a Spartan,” Director of Marketing for ASMSU Kiran Samra said. “It’s something that people really come together for.”