Back in high school I played the flute badly, but good enough to put me in my town’s parades in the marching band. Deciding that the flute was too prissy for some reason, my junior year, I took up baritone saxophone. I thought it would be swell to carry that in the St. Patrick’s Day parade one year. Not a chance. Dumb, dumb, dumb.
Happily, I gave up the baritone saxophone as well, but have found myself jumping into a few parades in less taxing capacities. If you have never been in a parade, it’s not hard. Seriously, this can be a no skills endeavor and one the whole family can enjoy doing. Plus, it’s FREE.
Whenever we are in Philipsburg, Montana we are in the kid’s parade as part of Flint Creek Valley Days. My son wears the same Spider-man hat each year.
On the 4th of July, my son and I were in an art car truck in the Doo Dah Parade. I received an email from Greg Phelps who helps organize the art car movement in Columbus and beyond. He wanted people to be in the guitar truck playing toy guitars. My son has a toy guitar so what could be easier than that?
This picture was taken by Greg Phelps who was driving the truck as we were on High Street going through the Short North section of Columbus.
Since it was raining, I suggested we set up the patio umbrella in the truck bed. I kept my foot on the base to keep it from tipping. The only other people in the back of the truck with me were my son and a third grade boy. The two of them flashed peace signs and yelled, “Peace out!” in between fake guitar playing.
The fun thing about being in a parade is the view of the crowds. I saw several friends who I hadn’t seen otherwise. Greg also took this picture. That’s his art car in the front that someone else was driving. You can see downtown Columbus in the distance.
If you have a hankering to be in a parade yourself, think about a cause you believe in and see if that organization has a group who is walking in the parade. Join up with them. I’ve walked with the Human Rights Campaign in the Gay Pride Parade three different years.
You could also put on a pair of roller blades and put on a funny hat and large sunglasses. People will think you’re swell. How about putting an outfit on your pet and pulling your pet in a decorated kid’s wagon?
Of course you could become a celebrity like Kent Couch who just traveled in his balloon lawn chair 200 miles. He was in a parade in Eugene, Oregon.
My suggestion to jazz up the fun. Buy a big bag of candy to throw some out. That gives people a thrill. We didn’t have candy, but next year, I’m planning on throwing out small plastic toys to fit the art car theme.