Saturday, 17 November 2012

Santa Parade

The first Santa parade of the season has officially come and gone today. The weather was the oddest thing, it was cloudy and windy and rainy all day until about 4pm. Then it cleared up, the wind died  down and the streets all dried up, just in time for the parade. After the parade had been cleared away, it started raining again. I guess the Gods like to watch parades on the occasion <g>

I volunteered to drive one of the taxies for the parade - I haven't ever done such a thing before,  I have walked in numerous, but never driven in one. I got to the appointed spot with my wife and daughter, not really sure what to expect but if you go expecting anything, you won't be surprised when it happens. I found the car I was to drive and we all helped get it prettied up for the parade. In total there were 6 of us running around getting all the lights and decor put together and a blind gentleman who played his guitar and sang Christmas songs for the entirety of the parade.

While we were waiting to get going, the street beside us filled with a marching band and a donation truck so things were pretty tight by the time the parade started. At 1800 the parade marshal said go and go we went. It took about 15 minutes before I was able to actually move because some fool had parked a train full of clowns in front of me but what can you do. I hit the start button (the cab was a Prius), put the car into low gear and started forward. I turned the corner and got to the official start line for the parade. HOLY $@*$, look at all of those kids! They were lining the starting line 4 deep and the kids were going wild - oh  yeah, Santa was about 2 floats behind me. Still, I heard more than one little kid scream "ITS THE TAXI DRIVER!"

The parade progressed slowly in front of the Empress Hotel and every 20 feet or so the people who were walking with the cab came back for more goodies to hand out. The kids were going wild, my wife was passing goodies out the car window as fast as she could, the mistral in the back was singing his heart out and I really was thinking it was time to change my knickers. All I needed was for one little kid to go completely wild at the sight of my car and come rushing out of the crowd. I tell you to have hit some kid during any other time would be bad, very very bad, but to do it right in front of Santa? I think I would much rather have a large scrub brush remove everything from my small intestines, newest to oldest.

The first part of the parade wasn't too bad until we hit government street when all of a sudden the road went from 4 lanes to 1 for about 100'. Ah well, the people walking with the cab (including my wonderful daughter) did a great job of helping the little ones contain their enthusiasm while I passed by. Driving through that many people gave me new meaning to keeping my eyes everywhere. Once I relaxed a little (read into that VERY little) I got right into it and had a lot of fun. We ran out of give aways about 1/3 of the way through the parade but still had a great time seeing everyone being so happy.

After the parade we made our way to a bizare restaurant called Hope Key. We sat down, had diner, unwound a little and started breathing again. After supper we were going to go on a ferris wheel that had been set up but we were all a bit wiped out and it had started raining again so we went home and got to our separate corners to unwind a bit more.

All in all, a very fun event, one I would rather enjoy doing again.
Just not tomorrow

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