Team RUSH members Audrey Dekonink, Jenna McCleese, Parker Szachta, Elizabeth Williams, Meghan Finnerty, Kyle Kaufman, and Evan Bennett make laminated paper snowflakes for their Holiday Lights Parade float. Photo by Phil Custodio
BY PHIL CUSTODIO
Clarkston News Editor
Dozens of students on Clarkston High School Team RUSH have been spending hours after school to build a float for Santa and Mrs. Claus for the Holiday Lights Parade, Saturday, Dec. 8, at 6 p.m.
“The theme of this year’s parade is Let the Stars Shine on Clarkston, so it’ll have lots of lights and foil stars,” said team Captain Emily Jeung.
The float will feature several Team RUSH competition robots, with their T-shirt launching robot taking the role of Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, leading six reindeer made of lights.
Team members are getting some practice with their new CNC router on a 4-by-6-foot table, using it to cut out stars and other shapes.
When robotics competition starts early next year, they’ll use it to build prototypes faster, said Ben Haas.
“It’ll help with bigger tasks,” Haas said.
Team RUSH is hosting and coordinating the annual parade, which includes almost 30 floats and community groups, all brightly lit with colorful Christmas lights as they march down Main Street.
“It’s cool to see the whole community come together,” Jeung said.
The parade entry by Clarkston Community Schools club and organization with the best theme, possibly including school colors blue and gold, wolf mascot, or shining stars, will be awarded the Clarkston Pride Award and $100 prize. Awards also include Best Use of Lights/Music and Most Creative STEM.
The parade starts at Renaissance High School at 6 p.m., heading west on Church Street to Main Street, then north to Miller Road, then to Glenburnie, and ending at Calvary Evangelical Lutheran Church.
Float line-up is at 4 p.m., and judging starting at 4:45 p.m. Main, Church and Miller will be closed starting at about 5:45 p.m. A tree lighting will take place at 7:30 p.m. at the church. To register or for more information, go to www.teamrush27.net/holiday-lights-parade, or contact team coach Kyle Hughes at firstname.lastname@example.org.