Inside Spencer: The KSRL Blog

Floating through Homecoming

October 3rd, 2013

The tradition of Homecoming, or welcoming back alumni to the University, conjures up images of crisp fall weather, football teams battling on the gridiron, dancing couples, and . . . floats! For many years KU groups have created floats from chicken wire, wood, crepe paper, and other materials to display in the Homecoming parade.

Photograph of students constructing a homecoming float.

Students construct a Homecoming float in 1969.
Call number: 71/1 /1969/0347. University Archives. Click image to enlarge.

The theme of the floats most typically involves the Homecoming football game–Jayhawk victoriously represented and opponent mascot whimpering in defeat–but not always.

Photograph of a homecoming float.     Photograph of a homecoming float.

Homecoming floats from 1937 (left) and the 1950s (right).
Respective call numbers: 71/1/1937/005 and 71/1/1950s/0110, University Archives. Click images to enlarge.

Enjoy some pictures from the University Archives of Homecoming floats of the past. For more images see the University’s Archives digital collections.

Photograph of a homecoming float.  Photograph of a homecoming float.

A snowman float (?!) from 1946 (left) and a cowboy Jayhawk from 1980 (right).
Respective call numbers: 71/1/1946/0076 and 71/1/1980/0518. University Archives. Click images to enlarge.

Whitney Baker
Head, Conservation Services