This is the morning of the Parade. We’re getting into position next to Logan Square and meeting Ariel and Rebekah about 7:00 am. Bouncing out of the room we were reminded that it was going to be the coldest parade in a century when we went outside. Although still the chill permeates everything as we trek the route past the spectacular tower of the City Hall and the JFK park with the LOVE statue.
Our route to our location has a couple of early-bird positioned with their carts and chairs. Start time is just after 8 but the route has been cleared and traffic just the occasional cop car or golf cart. It seems to be getting even colder now the sun’s up and with the surrounding buildings it seems the sun is never on us. Staking our position claim McKay and Jemmz went for coffee.
We finally caught up with Rebekah and Ariel who had ubered over from Lower Moyamensing. O’Regan stayed at the hotel to catch up on sleep. Ariel thoughtfully brought some polar fleece blankets which were greatly appreciated. In this cold anything additional is welcome.
The marching bands start with floats in between. The bands are all very earnest and entertaining and really combatting the cold. The bands consist of musicians and drum crew and a colour guard of flag wavers. Many of the musician uniforms are elastic waisted over-clothes so most are a but more stuffed with additional layers, beanies under hats, fingerless gloves in the brass section. But the colour guard uniform are mostly mini-skirted clingy things and there was some obvious stress happening at times keeping warm. Marching bands from all over the country apply for the privilege of taking part from places as far (and warm) as Georgia, Mississippi and Hawaii. Some are so young they may have never been in cold like this before (like us).
All of the bands were infectiously enthusiastic with lots of “happy Thanksgiving”s thrown in. The floats included actors from current stage shows (Matilda, Anastasia, Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella, Miss Saigon, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical), some TV show contestants (American Idol, the Voice, AGT), beauty queens (Miss America, Miss’ Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey as well as Oustanding Teens). Anyway, it was supremely well done. The marching bands and cheerleaders would move forward in stages and when they stop they would put on a performance. Wherever you were you got to see them all. There was very little need to keep people off the route which was good as some of the bands took up all the space.
The University of Delaware (where Ariel goes) Marching band – whose livery included the Delaware Fightin’ Blue Hens football logo. She has a flatmate in the band which we were keen to show support.
Frozen we made our way up the route to catch the Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleaders who seemed quite popular. Following up the rear was Mr and Mrs Santa symbolising the beginning of Christmas. On the way back we asked a bunch of cops is they were OK for a selfie. Not only were they keen they called a couple more over and took the picture for us!
We stopped in to the Starbucks to thaw out and regroup as we’d all wandered in different directions. It was good to be able to sit for a bit after the cold and the standing. Most people are racing home as today is the big-meal event and the public holiday. While we were sitting there a kid set off the fire alarm. It was comforting to note at no one moved except someone that went and reset it after a few ear-splitting minutes. I think we were all too tired.
Loos were next thing and the building had one pair of loos (one out-of-order). The ladies started to queue for it. Someone mentioned there wasn’t any loo paper in there so without thinking she went into the out-of-order one to see if there was any in there. The horror – the horror. Ghastly only begins to describe the scene of the facility.
There was an alarm while O’Regan was at the hotel. Apparently ‘Engineering’ came up and rendered whatever was occurring ‘safe’.
We separated to return to the hotel (and a hot shower) before the meeting up to address the leftovers from yesterday and items baked by Mary (Meemaw) in our absence today. Amazing food yet again with candied yams, apple pie, a vegan pie and ham. Mary and Rebekah are flying out tomorrow leaving Ariel to return to Newark and the U of D.
Angus | The enthusiasm of the parade
Rosie | Having a traditional American Thanksgiving and the cop photo
Jemmz | The apple pie that Ariel made specially for her
McKay | Getting up before everyone else to have a long hot shower
O’Regan | Lounging around the hotel for the early part of the day