Part I: Before you go, you need parade strategy

Tiff Graham's picture
Have you thought about your strategy?

1)    You must get to the parade and that means driving or walking to the parade carrying a spacious bag to stash those parade trinkets, flyers, and other paraphernalia passed out or thrown. (Bring some water too)

2)    You need your technology of camera and/or videocamera and probably phone (which can be your primary or backup camera). Phones are great, except an 8 megapixel phone image has its limits, especially when you realize later you can’t zoom in for a clearer image of those letters on the signs attached to the slow moving convertible or float. And now you have no idea who or what that costumed bear was doing or representing. Does it matter, well yeah, it does, because this could be reflective of a trend of animal characters in parades. Maybe it was Smokey the Bear in a new retro costume/hairstyle, but you don’t know now cause your camera image is blurry even at high resolution. Or maybe it’s an insurance company bear mascot, with some marketing message. You could have missed some clever word play about being able to BEAR with the difficulties of life when insured by…

MORE to come…    It’s the weekend so I have a festival to attend and it’s already 2pm. But I think I’ll add one last bit of information. Some parades start at 9 or 10 in the morning, way too early in my opinion (though I'm not dealing with the parade coordinator's frustrations of people who don't know how to line-up). Late mornings are common parade start times too. However, from my experience, some parades are late, really late, like 2 hours later than scheduled. Don’t leave, wait it out. I did this and being a bystander in the sun isn’t fun, but I was glad I waited (i.e. Los Angeles Persian Parade start time 11 AM, I think 1 or maybe 2 it began). Other times, I’ve showed up later than the scheduled time and the parade was still going for 2 to 3 hours more  (i.e. Los Angeles Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade had so many entries, and even though I was late, I still had my camera battery exhausted and later my phone battery exhausted too). Know the parade start time, and expect the unexpected. I guess the worse thing is showing up and the parade is over or you had the wrong weekend. It happens.



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As a self-proclaimed expert I would say that it is crucial to know where the parade starts from (not just which streets it will be passing) and coming earlier to see the preparations around the starting point - is the most fun of all.

Oh yes! That's even a good time for spontaneous interviews with individuals and groups participating.