Finally, the day of the parade! Our friend Jason generously crafted these wings for Eliza, that actually move in and out, so we spent Saturday decorating them! (Look! It's me! On the blog!)
As the day progressed, I watched Ani start to tank...until she didn't have much voice or energy and I knew things were bad when she decided she probably couldn't take all the walking - to the parade, in the parade and home from the parade - that participating would demand. In our family's usual style, we all took part in this event but separately: the girls and I spent hours creating these last three weeks, and Dan spent all day Saturday there, helping with whatever needed finishing, and figuring out how to add some music to the parade. Eliza decided she had enough energy to walk, and really didn't want to miss the parade, so I took her up to meet Dan, drove home, and then... popped in a Garfield for Ani and ran up to take a few pictures. She really wanted to see if her puppet head made it into the parade...
Here they come! This might be my favorite moment every year, seeing them approaching.
|There's Dan! In the white suit...|
|There it is! Ani's mask!!|
There is so much joy and hard work that goes into this parade, and I feel such gratitude for this offering, for the people we met while hanging out doing papier mache, for the confidence I see growing in my kids, for the awesome spirit of the event!! The core group of artists give all of themselves for these three weeks, and I hope they'll do it again next year. It is magical.
The one piece that was disappointing was that there seemed to be a lack of communication with the organizers of the uptown block party event, who decided to block the street with a huge sound stage, forcing the parade to divert around the block onto a much tinier street before continuing up towards the campus green. It felt unwelcoming. My guess is that it was just an oversight, but it was a downer, knowing how much energy and effort had been made for this beautiful parade. I was proud to see how many folks had shown up - in addition to the Halloween revellers - to show support and enjoy the fun!!