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20110201_TCF_Shoebox_1stPlace_MarionRodriguez_8982Fourth grader Marion Rodriguez of Leal Elementary and fifth grader Kaitlyn Ramirez of Mims Elementary won first place in their respective divisions at the Texas Citrus Fiesta Shoe Box Float contest this year.

All of the top shoe box float entries from each participating school are currently on display at Speer Memorial Library in the small group study room.

20110201_TCF_Shoebox_2ndPlace_DannyAlejos_8979The competition is intended to be a fun way for elementary age students to participate in the Texas Citrus Fiesta and learn more about citrus and other Valley agricultural products used in creating the floats. It also gives the students the opportunity to learn about the art of using these products to decorate and bring unique colors to their float projects – just like the costumes in the Product Costume Show. Anne Whitfield, co-chairperson for the competition, hopes to see the student participants continue their interest in the Fiesta by perhaps designing product costumes or parade floats in future years.

20110201_TCF_Shoebox_3rdPlace_MakenzieGerlach_8977Jim Brunson, publisher of the Progress Times, is the sponsor of the Shoe Box Float competition. Prize money and ribbons are awarded to the top three floats in each grade level, for fourth grade and fifth grade.

Elementary schools in Mission CISD, La Joya ISD and Sharyland ISD are invited to participate each year. The competition is now in its fifth year.

20110201_TCF_Shoebox_1stPlace_KaitlynRamirez_8989Winning first place in the fourth grade competition, Marion Rodriguez took home a big ribbon and a $100 cash prize. An additional $100 cash prize was awarded to Marion’s teacher, Emma Franco, for classroom supplies. Second place, Fourth Grade Division, went to Danny Alejos, also of Leal Elementary, and third place was awarded to Makenzie Gerlach of Bryan Elementary.

In the Fifth Grade Division, the classroom award of $100 was presented to Kaitlyn’s teacher, Melissa Leo. Second place ribbon and a $75 check were awarded to Samantha Young, Leal Elementary, and third place ribbon and $50 were presented to Alyssa Sanchez and Abigail Rodriguez, who worked together on their float design.

20110201_TCF_Shoebox_2ndPlace_SamanthaYoung_8986The floats were judged on whether they used citrus and agricultural products to cover the float, creativity and adherence to this year’s Texas Citrus Fiesta theme: “Traveling Texas.”

The floats are made on the top of a cardboard shoebox. All visible parts of the box must be covered with product or decoration and 50 percent must be covered in agricultural products grown in the Rio Grande Valley. The products can be dried, dehydrated, or even carved. Citrus must be used somewhere on the float. Glitter can be used to brighten the product. Plastic figures, materials and ribbons can also be used to complete the float.

20110201_TCF_Shoebox_3rdPlace_AlyssaSanchez_Abigail_8984Marcell Elementary used some of the shoe box floats created by their students on the school’s float in the Parade of Oranges held Jan. 29.

The shoebox floats will be on display at the library until Feb. 11.

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