wow and wow.
that’s all there is to say about the weather this thanksgiving weekend. simply spectacular!
i had been on the fence about whether or not i wanted to go to the oktoberfest parade yesterday morning. but when i considered the weather, i realized it could be another 20 years before it would be sunny, warm, clear, wonderful on a thanksgiving monday morning. cuz who wants to stand in rain and wind to watch a parade? not i! so, i decided this was the year. [have to say, the thought that i could include the parade as a new experience was a deciding factor].
i am a parade fan. every year, dadster and i sit down to watch the rose bowl parade together on new year’s day. i sincerely know of no one else who enjoys parade viewing except for us! i don’t know how you cannot enjoy bands, floats, happy people clapping your hands?!
when i was little, we sometimes went to the santa claus parade. i have a very clear memory of being three years old, and standing with dad outside the mutual life building. the last time i saw the santa parade live and in-person was when an ex-bf and i took little cousins kate and joel to see it. the only thing i remember about that outing was that it was so cold we ended up putting mittens on kate’s feet to help warm her up!
so why have i never gone to the oktoberfest parade? well, growing up, our family was not at all into oktoberfest. back in the 70’s, this bavarian festival was little more than a drunken slosh-fest. we stayed far away. in the ensuing years, the organizers have made oktoberfest increasingly family-friendly. [may i remind you that our oktoberfest is the biggest in north america!].
in the seven years that the condo casa has been home, i’ve never gone to the parade, which is kind of silly since the route is literally three minutes from home. no driving, no parking hassles, it couldn’t get easier. plus, it starts at 8:30 a.m. – perfect for this early bird!
i left home at 8:25 a.m. the parade begins at the corner of king & erb streets – right by the store! i decided to find a spot just past willis way, very near the start.
i took a
shitload ton of photos during the parade . since chances are that you are not a parade fan, i’ve heavily edited my pics, and will share just enough (hopefully) to give you a taste of the fun. [fyi – this parade was also broadcast on ctv – it’s quite a big deal as far as parades go].
i appreciated how they had a sign like that one, above, before each float or marching band, to let you know the name of the entry.
[i always think of our friend, brian when i see onkel hans – he used to take on an annual gig of dressing up as onkel hans for public appearances during oktoberfest. we teased him a lot about this since he wasn’t really the ho ho ho, jolly type!].
there’s a contest for the best float – in keeping with the times, you can vote by texting the number that appears on the float.
i expected more clowns – guess i was thinking of the santa claus parade…
…not that i mind a lack of clowns – i was scared as a child, and have not been a fan ever since.
the parade route is about 5-6 km long. imagine carrying this…
…for that long! i give them credit.
there were local dignitaries:
horses were a bit hit with all the kids:
each of the local german clubs was represented…
…and participants were decked out in traditional garb:
the parade was well thought out with a float then a band then some horses then an inflatable etc.
i hadn’t decided if i’d commit to staying to the end or not. but 1.5 hours in, i pretty much had experienced enough…as had many around me. kids were growing whiny, parents impatient (time for more coffee, no doubt). i thought it good timing to leave after this inflatable:
…and less than five minutes later, i was back at home. i’m really glad i went to the parade – it made thanksgiving monday feel like a true holiday. the overall vibe i walked away with was a real sense of community: seeing the oodles of spectators who came out, the local people on the floats, everyone there for a common purpose and just enjoying the day. it was a good, good new experience.
parades: fan or not? if so, what do you most enjoy seeing? you can be sure i’m jazzed about watching the rose bowl parade again on january 1st!