‘Things to do with your kid in the Philadelphia area: Volunteer for the oldest parade in the country!’
As I read through the message I remembered fondly my time as a balloon handler (a score ago!) and duly signed myself and The Bee up to volunteer in the 6ABC/Ikea Thanksgiving Day parade. I waited for our assignments and forgot about the parade until I got an e-mail of our assignments:
Clown Group Two. I told The Bee and happily she was ready to participate instead of watch this year’s festivities.
The weeks before The Bee would call from The Dad’s to ask what how she needed to prepare, what we would be expected to do, and other questions that the she felt begged to be answered leading up to the parade. She would talk about clowning techniques (she would dance and I could juggle), she would wax enthusiastically about overcoming her fear of clowns now that she was going to participate as one and she worried about whether people would recognize her.
The night before the parade she harassed me into setting alarms as well as demanded to know when I was going to bed, laid our her clothes for the next day and then fell asleep in that coma like manner that always terrifies me. Soon after I drifted off and awoke to The Weather Girls proclaiming, “It’s Raining Men” and kid who jumped up and quickly dressed and then demanded I hurry.
Driving along I was told to “stop acting like Miss Daisy” and get there faster, to get gas on the way back and tsked when I took the wrong exit on 676 (sorry!).
Registration. Less than three minutes to check in!
The behind the scenes of the parade were run like a well oiled machine! Signs in the lobby directed us towards registration, the complimentary breakfast as well as where we were to go for costumes and makeup.
Total all about me (AAMA) aside: The many moons ago that I participated I remember chaos as Buffy and I tried to find our assigned captain and costumes, being cold and being cold. The use of the Sheraton was excellent as we had a warm place to stay, a warm breakfast, coffee (!) and a relaxing place to wait as we ate.
It was so mush fun! The crowd was great, the energy was positive and I was so proud to be a Philadelphian! I can’t wait for next year; The Bee has already decided that she will get confetti to throw as well as some little toys for kids.
Here are some pictures from the day. Hope you all had a wonderful holiday! We sure did!
The Bee sipping apple juice, the only thing she would eat that morning
Such a reserved and polite breakfast
A kid from clown group 1 and The Bee
The Bee after makeup
Getting my makeup
Some kids waiting for the bus
The professional clowns. Lit like a match though
Our view from 20th and JFK as we waited for our start
The Bee and me waiting to start
CJ, she does this every year!
Us being silly
The crowd LOVED Brandy!
Brandy was so nice to The Bee. She has a new fan.
Scott, he was in charge of getting us out on time.