When we were planning our camping trip, we looked at the Nautical Festival schedule of events to see if there was anything in particular we wanted to make sure we didn't miss. After some talk, we decided it would be fun to participate in the kiddie parade. One of Nana's friends, whom we have come to know well, has participated in past years, so I e-mailed Kari to find out what people usually do and ask if she wanted to be in the parade with us. Best message I ever sent. We talked about the theme (Hometown Pride), tossed around some ideas, and she said she would see what she could pull together to make any of our ideas happen. My best (only) idea had been to do something along the theme of Poppy's boat. I said something along the lines of, "Maybe we could put cardboard around a wagon to make it look like a boat?" I was imagining something pretty basic, but what she ended up creating (with the help of Mr. D, Nana and Poppy, her daughter, Aunt Darleen, and probably more whom I'm forgetting) was amazing.
The view from the front. Look at the pilot house!
Named after the boat on which Poppy spent the majority of his career.
The sign was one of my favorite parts. We DO love our sailors - especially Poppy!
For the record, she did not just "wrap" cardboard around 1 wagon or a couple separate wagons...the crew rigged together 3 wagons and covered them all to make 1 gigantic boat!
Allie's group in the pilot house.
Ryan rode in back as part of the sound crew. They used a recording of the horn blasts from various boats for the kids to play during the parade. Sadly, it couldn't be heard very well over the crowd...but it was awesome.
We also had the 2 older girls carry Poppy's boat flag, and 3 of the dads dressed up as sailors so they would look the part while they pulled the float, carried wandering children, and kept general order.
Lining up to start the parade. Getting 3 connected wagons our of the parking took some extra deck hands.
During the parade.
One of the best parts was bumping into other sailors, and even the former captain of the boat our float was created after, see it and get excited about our float. Sadly, the picture below is the only picture I got of the amazingly talented and creative Kari with the float. While she humbly passes off all the credit, I'm confident that our float wouldn't have looked anywhere near as amazing without her!
In case you are wondering, there is a competitive component to the parade. However, they drew more participants than normal this year and the floats were bigger and better than ever, so instead of picking a winner or two, they picked the top 10 and divided the prize money between them. We were so excited when "Poppy's Boat" was one of the winners!
Going up to get our winnings.
Even more exciting, we made it in the newspaper! Front page, full color, above the fold! See the picture and blurb HERE. We also made it on the local news as well (See the news clip HERE. Toward the end you can see Ry-guy standing and waiting for the results at the band shell so don't stop watching after our float has passed!). The kids loved seeing themselves on tv :)
The whole gang!
Sadly, just after the parade (while we were eating dinner in the big tent) a gigantic storm blew in. We're talking a complete downpour, and it destroyed our float that was parked outside. It was so sad to know how much work went into making it so spectacular and then see it completely ruined. But, we have our pictures and our memories! It was so much fun to be a part of this annual tradition and it was even more fun to represent Poppy's Boat!