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Griffin to Make Triumphant Return to Rose Parade

By Miles Bryan '13 on June 04, 2012 11:12 AM

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After more than 75 years' absence, a Reed College float will once again join the Portland Rose Festival's Grand Floral Parade, taking place this Saturday, June 9.

Reed first entered a float into the Rose Parade in 1936; although Reedies have played many important roles in the festival since, our beloved institution has never again been represented by its own float.

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Rob Mack '93 has been working nonstop since January to change that.

Along with alumni director Mike Teskey, and classmates Ben Lund '93, Dan Schafer '92, Martha Richards '92, and Lars Fjelstad '92 (photo credit), Rob has assembled a griffin float that the class of '36 would be proud of: mounted on the chassis of an old Ford Pinto, it comes complete with moving wings and head, and a killer sound system.

Rob built his first floats (click here to see MOSPUD, his earliest project) while doing guerrilla theatre at Reed, and working with Beer Nation (which he founded), but he says the griffin is most exciting project he has worked on yet.

The griffin crew is being paid handsomely for all their work: Rob let me know that, in addition to some free pizza and beer, by the end they will have "scored at least a couple of bungee cords."

Though much was accomplished at Reunions '12: Reedfayre, however, there is still a lot of work to be done before the float makes its debut on Saturday: the griffin crew is in need of volunteers to help cover the float in flowers.

They will be meeting 4 p.m. until 10 p.m., Monday through Friday, at 2448 NW 28th Avenue. (NW 28th and Nicolai). Bring warm clothes that you do not mind getting dirty.

Catering will be provided, and volunteers will have the first shot at Comrades of the Quest t-shirts, as well as the chance to walk alongside the griffin in the parade.

Contact Mike at teskeym@reed.edu if you can help.