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The best Auburn homecoming float in 1976 was getting high on mushrooms ‘agriculture’

mushroom homecoming float 1976
Cow (Dung) College? The Best In Show float from Auburn’s 1976 homecoming parade was built by the residents of the New America House located on Magnolia Avenue across from Noble Hall. This photo was taken from the house’s front porch.

Magic mushrooms came to Auburn in 1973. Or at least awareness about them them did; the Auburn botany and microbiology professors the Plainsman kept interviewing for shroom stories were almost positive the things being harvested out of the manure dotting the pastures of Lee County for the past year or so were not, in fact, psilocybin mushrooms, and that the longhairs must be mistaking the toxic shock of some sort of fatal Auburn fungi for psychedelic hallucinations.

There were four stories in four months starting that February, most questioning whether or not shrooming was technically illegal, but advising folks to maybe find another hobby regardless (what with poison and all). Judging by Auburn’s 1976 homecoming parade, the coverage did little to put a damper on the past time.

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“The students questioned, however, were quite sure that what they had been eating was the ‘magic mushroom.'”

Because not only was the float built by the New America House (362 W. Magnolia Ave) and sponsored by Chanello’s Pizza (the preferred parlor of Auburn’s counter culture) allowed in the parade… not only was it named the best independent float… it was named the best float in the entire homecoming parade that year.

The 1976 parade’s theme: Favorite Pastimes at Auburn.

The New America House’s entry: A float with giant papier mache mushrooms straight out of a children’s theater production of Alice In Wonderland placed behind a papier mache cow, and bearing a sign that read “Getting High on Agriculture.”

Those judges had some high standards.

Photo: Jay Pramberg.

Related: The best float in Auburn’s 1968 homecoming parade literally floated.

We’re documenting the evolution of homecoming at Auburn for the rest of this week. Like, nonstop vintage homecoming action. I’m excited. Go here.

Keep Reading:

* Auburn’s first homecoming may actually have been 104 years ago—and America’s first
* The greatest thing ever written about Auburn football
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* 1959 Homecoming decorations celebrating Auburn becoming a university
* Auburn-educated astronaut wanted ‘War Eagle’ to be first words on the moon
* Show Some Pigskin: An Illustrated Guide to Auburn’s Playboy All-Americans

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About Jeremy Henderson

Jeremy Henderson is the editor of The War Eagle Reader and co-host of Rich and Jeremy in the Mornings on Wings 94.3 FM in Auburn. Follow him on Twitter: @wareaglereader / @jerthoughts / @RichandJeremy

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