The holiday season marks a serious round of parades for us Radio Folk. Former Northerners here inform me that Christmas parades aren't as big up north (due to snow, I assume).... but, here, they rule your life for a long time.
Among several remotes and subbing everyday at school while a teacher recovers from surgery, I was on the bill to drive in the parades that one of our stations was scheduled for.
First up.... the hometown parade. Being born and raised here, this is my personal favorite. It's HUGE.... 3 miles long, thousands of people, bands gallore, fireworks. It's awesome! Plus, the parade starts and ends at the same place. None of the other cities follow this trend. It just makes sense to me.
The parade is always held the first Thursday of December. Literally, the whole town revolves its day around it. People start setting up their chairs in the morning. Our station rides and staff from all stations walk/ride through the parade. The parade steps-off right across the street from our station, so we all park at work, hang out, and then walk over to the staging area about 15 minutes before it starts (which is much better than the poor souls that have to be there 2 hours early!).
J and I went out for an early dinner before heading back to the station. We decided to walk the 3 miles to burn off all that yummy food!
My favorite memory of the parade?..... walking over with JJ who was trying to hide a megaphone under his jacket, so that our PD didn't see it and make him take it back, lol. He was successful!! He and the other DJ's used it to shout greetings to everyone as they rode on top of the Boom Box.
2nd favorite part of the parade?..... All of us that were walking had to RUN to catch up to everyone else, a couple of times. Most of the time, we were ahead of the van, but then R (the driver) would gun it and we'd be running. One of the guys took video on his phone of us booking it to catch up, lol.
I know J got a couple really cute pictures, but I forgot my camera :(.
The next night (Friday, Dec 5) was the HD parade. HD is interesting because it stages in the parking lot of this really big retirement community. The residents all look out their windows or sit out in the front, to see all the floats. At this point, I was officially on M duty. E, H (who dressed up as the dog), and I decked out the van. Then, we sat for two hours. Because, they want you to be there WAY before the thing starts. One of our other station was lined up near us, so we hung out with them, too.
Saturday the 6th was a triple duty day. We had HC at 10 (9am line up).... that one was rough... lots of starting and stopping.
Most memorable moment?....... During a particularly lengthy stop, this older lady on a float about three ahead of us got DOWN during 'Twist and Shout.' She was standing next to a tree and I do believe the tree blushed, lol. I was in tears. It made my day, lol.
We ran and got food. Then, we had PC at 2pm (1pm line up). Again, interesting parade. The smaller towns are always interesting, because there is usually just as many people watching the parade as are IN the parade, lol. After both parades, we headed to WH for a PA.
LONG day, but I had a lot of fun hanging out with E and H. Holly makes a FABULOUS mascot. She gets on top of the van and boogies down. The crowds love her!! E put together a great CD to play during the parade. Overwhelming favorite?.... 'Bust a Move'.... it doesn't matter how dead the crowd is, that come on and everyone starts dancing and cheering, lol.
I forgot my camera then, too. Which makes me really sad, as H was only there for that weekend.
The next weekend started with Friday's B parade. Other than my hometown, this is probably the biggest of the parades. Once again, we had to line up early, so E and I sat and chatted for a while. J, T, and R each made their way over from the van to come say "Hi." About 10 minutes before the parade started, we got everything set up to go (we were a well-oiled machine by that point, lol.)
Memorable moment #1.... Freezy pops. It was COLD! Throughout the route, I noticed all these people eating freezy pops and was seriously perplexed, as it really was chilly outside. Finally, I asked someone and a float ahead of us was passing them out!!
Memorable moment #2.... E and the bratwurst. While enroute, we saw an avid listener. She was waving and shouting, and E was waving and shouting right back. She was selling food and he jokingly asked where his was. About 5 minutes later, this teenager runs up beside the van, "E!!! Here's your brat!"
As you can see, I remembered my camera. Here's a look from the van, during the parade, lol....
The last parade was Saturday, the 13th, in LW. We got a pretty late start, thanks to a coworker who had the van at a remote and took his sweet time getting it back to us, lol. Once we got there, we decided to set up first, just to be on the safe side.
Once we were done setting up, we goofed off with the camera until the parade started.....
Once that parade was over, so was Parade season. It's a hectic two weeks, but it can also be fun. Mainly, I like hanging out with my friends from the station. There's a lot of down time (hurry up and wait), so you get to chill and chat. Usually, everyone works such different shifts and crazy hours that you don't get to really hang out unless you're on the road.
Anyways, we're done, for now, lol.