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Posted in Family and Friends | November 2013

I love a parade!

prepping for parade days
‘Tis the season for curbside Santa Claus spotting and Thanksgiving Day character-balloon sightings! Parades happen all year long, of course (you’ve probably been to a 4th of July, homecoming, St. Patrick’s Day, or Easter parade at some point in your life), but there’s just something a little extra magical about parades during the holiday season.

There’s nothing particularly complicated about attending a parade—you just show up and watch. But we do have some suggestions for ways to make sure that you and your family have the best experience possible and make memories you’ll want to relive over and over again.

  • Check the weather forecast. Remember that temperatures fluctuate during the day, so just because it’s warm and sunny when you leave the house doesn’t mean it won’t be cool and overcast by the end of the afternoon when you’re still standing on the street waiting for a glimpse of the big guy in red.
  • Start a family tradition to make the parade even sweeter. Bake cookies to take with you, stop at a shelter to drop off a donation of canned goods on your way to the parade route or take an annual family picture at the parade to remind you of the fun you had together.
  • Stake out your spot and don’t leave it. Make sure to bring everything you need (like snacks, extra sweaters, warm hats and a blanket in case it turns chilly) so that you don’t have to risk losing the spot you’ve carefully chosen by ducking out to grab a drink or retrieve a pair of mittens from the car.
  • Own your spot, but be considerate. Yes, you took the time to arrive early and stake out a good spot, but if shorter people (especially children) are behind you and can’t see the action, be kind and let them go ahead of you. If you’re taller than they are, you won’t miss a thing.
  • Bring a small plastic grocery bag. A garbage can might not be within reaching distance (and you don’t want to leave that spot!), so a disposable bag will hold any garbage you might generate during the course of the parade.
  • Be aware of those around you. Put any large bags or backpacks you’ve brought at or between your feet instead of wearing them on your shoulders or back where they can be a nuisance to others.
  • Snap the fun! Bring a camera with you and remember to turn it on your family members every now and then, not just on the floats, clowns and bands. The excitement on a child’s face during a parade is a priceless memory to capture on film.
  • Respect the flag. At the first sighting of your national flag, remember to remove your hat and place your hand on your heart (or salute) until the flag passes you by.

Enjoy your memory-making this holiday parade season!

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