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Cougars & Mustangs

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They say that a good education takes you places. As 2016 began for a notable chunk of Mustangs, that place was Pasadena for annual participation in the Tournament of Roses Parade. But that’s not the only parade, not even the only New Year parade, not even the only New Year! 

So, if you want another festive treat you can attend for the sake of collegiate pride, consider supporting the Cal Poly Marching Band as they return for their third annual performance in the Southwest Airlines Chinese New Year Parade on Saturday, Feb. 20, in none other than San Francisco. The parade, which was started in the 1860s by the Chinese community of San Francisco for education about their culture, has, along with its corresponding festival, grown to be the largest celebration of Asian culture outside of Asia. (Did you know that SLO used to have the largest Mardi Gras outside of New Orleans? But that’s a story for another time.) 

This coming year on the Chinese calendar is the Year of the Monkey! Monkeys are said to be intelligent and crafty, often pranksters, restless, and hardworking. Let’s hope no tricks, however innocently they are intended, are played on our Mustang Marching Band! Though having only participated twice in the parade so far, each visit has earned the band first place in the marching band category. 

Best of luck to you again! You can do it! 

Of course, the event features far more than simply marching bands. Floats? Dragon dancers? You name it! An event this large expects to draw more than 1 million attendees (probably not even counting the more than 210 members of the Mustang Marching Band, who already perform at nearly 50 on-campus events each year) and will be broadcast live on two local San Franciscan television stations. After all, the International Festivals and Events Association named the parade one of the top 10 parades in the world! 

All of this sometimes leaves an eager mind to wonder what cool opportunities THEY will be provided with by their education. But remember, when opportunities arrive, they don’t seize themselves. Grab on and don’t let go of something the heart calls to do. Beyond the endless fascinating lectures and essential bits of fieldwork, there is still yet a wide world in which to hone your craft, whatever that is. Carpe Diem, dearest readers. Seize the day. 

Contributor Lola White-Sanborn’s favorite dragon dancer is Gyarados. Let’s just hope the following Aqua Tail doesn’t miss! Send her your collegiate news via cougarsandmustangs@newtimesslo.com.

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