Every year the library participates in the Frost Fest Lighted Parade. It is pretty awesome, but also can be pretty cold. Thankfully, this year it was very pleasant, both for parade construction and the event itself. The theme was “treetop traditions,” and our float featured a gumbo-sized star atop a smallish tree. When explaining why the star was so large, I told people that it was from an alternate dimension where the importance of things influenced their scale.
Constructing the float is usually quite a large undertaking, but I enjoy it. Who gets to make a float as part of their job… probably not that many people. It is also a great way to get out there show the community who we are and promote ourselves.
This year I had the star framework welded together by an experienced metal worker, which took some of the pressure off. I then covered the star with as many lights as I could using masking tape for easy teardown. In case you are not familiar with covering floats with lights, it is a good idea to think about how everything will plug in. Three light strands plugged into one another is the recommended maximum amount.
Once the lights were secure, I zip-tied the white fabric to the star and covered the star’s base with lighted garlands (using zip ties), so that it would look like a tree. Then I decorated the “tree” with jumbo-sized ornaments. Lights were strung along the float railing, snow was stapled to the trailer bed, and wreaths, garlands and bows were zip-tied to the railing. Clamp lights are also a good idea because it is dark at night. If you want people to see your pretty face, you have to light it. We powered our lights and music with a generator kept in the back of the truck.
Chilly the penguin is always on our float because he is sorta like our mascot. Every year we also create a children’s book featuring Chilly, which is centered around the parade theme.
Did I mention my favorite part? The teens and I created a danced which we preformed behind the float. Here are some of the names of our moves: fling hands back (with jazz hands), bow and arrow, beat the drums, floppy arms, peekaboo, snake arms, step clap, twirl, and ride the horse. All the dancers were wearing their ugly sweaters. It was so much fun!!!!!