Fantasy Fest Parade- Part II
October 27, 2008
Fantasy Fest Parade- Part II
Michael & Kathy
The parade itself is an amazing experience. Having experienced it as both a participant and viewing it from any number of locations in past years, I have to say there is nothing quite like the experience of being on a float. I was trying to figure out how many times that I have been on a float, and my best estimate is somewhere between 10 and 14 times. It gets a little hazy going back.
Being so far toward the back, much of the parade has passed people by the time we even get started down Southard Street. This gives us additional time to get ready as well as additional time to enjoy the party atmosphere in the staging area. We had 4 kegs this year and probably around 75 people in our group, a combination of seasoned float veterans and newcomers and friends experiencing the parade for the first time.
Of course despite our best efforts, things invariably go wrong and this year was no exception as the beautiful rolling bar known as the MASH unit (Military Alcoholic Serving Hut) lost its wheels when we pushed away from our starting spot. A save the kegs scramble ensued as the bar was left behind and the kegs made their way onto the float.
Other than that things went fairly well, we had a great band playing on the roof, The Michael Dixon band, which kept the music playing and the people dancing. We also had purchased cases of beautiful blue beads to toss out to the crazed crowds that lined the streets. The size of the crowd was down somewhat, no doubt the economy and weather were factors. The final estimate was 50,000, down from the usual 70,000 that attend, though it was still really crowded, especially along Duval Street.
Lisa & Tonni
Having less people made it easier to pick out friends along the route and I was able to see many friends watching the parade. The crowd was pretty well behaved as well as I witnessed no major fights or disturbances and people seemed appreciative of our float.
Craig & Jodie
There are two brief stops along the route, the TV stand in front of the LaConcha Hotel and the judging stand that is near the end of the route just past Truman. Having the judging so late works against us as many of the participants in our float imbibe heavily along the route and many are quite tipsy by the time they reach the judges. The creativeness of our effort is often offset by the drunken misdeeds of some of our people, it is unfortunate but does not detract from the good time that we are having.
The post parade is always a good time as we park the float and continue the party just off Duval. I always end up fairly sore from the walking and the heat and humidity this year was especially oppressive, but it was another great Fantasy Fest and thankfully the rain held off for the entire parade. Post parade celebrations drifted off toward the Green Parrot and La Te Da as we avoided the madness of lower Duval Street. Thanks as always to Rick Keith, Ernie, MJ and all those who helped make this another stellar year.
Michael Dixon Band