Well, we all survived another St. Pat’s Day, fully intact.  Thankfully everyone managed to duck the low-hanging tree branches along Locust Street.

The weather was perfect- just cool enough to keep us from getting hot and sweaty while dancing all the way down the parade route.  The day started off early with float riders gathering at our house for pizza, dance practice, and last minute costume adjustments.  The float pulled out of the alley around noon to line up, and then the wait began.  We were entry #105 out of a record 148 entries in the parade. 

Parade_2Massachusetts Street was packed.  It seemed like there were ten times as many people than usual- and there probably were since the parade fell on a Saturday this year.   People were all the way out to the middle of the street, right up to the edge of our float.

Our float this year was a giant Showboat! It was awesome.  White, black, and red, with lots of glitter and a giant paddle wheel on the back.  Dave rigged up the wheel using the windshield wiper motor from his old Firebird.  He also hooked up a bubble machine on the inside of the wheel, so it turned and blew bubbles during the parade route.  The girls wore sequins, feather boas, and white gloves; the boys wore black pants, white shirts, sequin bowties, and black tophats. 

It’s such a blast riding on the float and dancing down the street.  The kids- and even the adults- get so excited and animated when they see us coming.  People get up and start dancing with us, and we love to see everyone laugh and smile as we go by.  This year, many of our float riders were closer to street level than in the past and they loved to be able to interact more with the crowd. This is why The Sandbar participates in the parade every year- we enjoy the camaraderie of building the float and we love to entertain the kids.  Float_group

Reverend Dave married a local couple on top of the float as it crossed the Kansas River.  This was a first for The Sandbar, but not for the parade- twenty years ago, a local couple was married in the very first St. Patrick’s Day parade.  They rode on a float in this year’s parade, too, and renewed their vows. 

We continued our performance as the float traveled through North Lawrence- the crowds were smaller but there were still lots of folks out there.  The parade ended at the Flamingo Club where everyone enjoyed Chef Ben’s fabulous buffet lunch and the awards ceremony.  The Sandbar reclaimed the Grand Prize Traveling Trophy!

It was a very long, fun, tiring day.  Thanks to everyone who participated on our float this year! We can’t wait for next year. Of course, we’re already looking for ideas….