09 April 2008

I...sort of love a parade?

So writing about Springtime Tallahassee the other day got me thinking about when I used to live on the parade route (as I mentioned). I was down by the Governor's pad (occupied by Jeb in those days) as well as a bunch of other interesting stuff.

This is really the very very beginning of the parade route. It actually acts sort of as the staging area, because there are several streets that all converge there, which I suppose makes it easier to line-up all the floats and marching bands and Shriners in tiny cars and what not.
As you can see on the map, they can line the paradees down Monroe and Thomasville and 1st Ave. and then merge them all together as the parade starts.

[An aside: to get the map I typed in my old address, which is were the green arrow claims to be pointing. That's actually
The Grove (yeah, I wish I lived there). I was next door...move the arrow half an inch to the right and you've got it.]

At any rate, as you might imagine, staging begins much earlier than the parade proper... as you have to line everyone up and give people time to stick all the stuff back their floats that fell off while they were driving it over to the parade, and generally wrangle the unruly in to some semblance of a line. So for me, on a parade Saturday there was not really any sleeping in. In various years I was awakened at an earlier than ideal hour by a variety of things:
  • police cars politely hitting their sirens to encourage motorists to move along as they set up barricades to block the streets (barricades that also effectively trapped me at home for the day, I might add)
  • marching band members warming up and tuning their instruments in the front yard
  • local radio zany-morning-crew-type guys testing out the sound system on their float by blasting "Funkytown" over and over
  • High school ROTC calling cadence and marching up and down in front of the house
  • Confederate soldiers on horseback hanging out across the street. Witness the view out the window on these pics I dug up:
(as always, click to enlarge)

But, all things considered, I didn't mind the parade so much. It was only one day a year. (Actually, 2 days...the Winter Fest parade also caused all the streets to be blocked off. But since it was at night, it usually caused me to be trapped out of the house rather than in...) It was nice to not have to drive or park, just walk out the front door and have a seat on the grass. Also, parades are much more enjoyable when you have easy access to all the comforts of home like beer and snacks and your own bathroom...

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1 comment:

downtown guy said...

Being on the parade route is one of the best things about where I live, especially since I don't get all the hubbub until at least 8:30.