If you enjoyed the view of Sunday’s Sanford Christmas Parade on the Steele Street portion of the parade route, you might have seen a guy, about 5-10, wearing a black and white referee shirt.
He wasn’t there to watch for fouls or keep the clock running.
He was there to make sure the bands stopped for their moment in the spotlight (on TV).
And that referee was …. drumroll …..
This is my second foray into referring parades. My first experience came in Lafayette, La., when I had similar duties for a much larger parade with the kind of South Louisiana bands that danced and high-stepped when they performed.
I thought the parade was a success, as far as the crowd, bands, floats, etc. went. I can attest, a lot of work went into Sunday’s parade, and you could tell.
I do have a few ideas for next year’s parade (if my wife is willing to listen) …
1) Get a celebrity marshall.
It doesn’t have to be Tom Hanks, Neil Patrick Harris or Kate Winslet. You can go B-list here … a kid from One Tree Hill, Gary Coleman, one of the kids from the Partridge Family. It doesn’t matter … people love celebrities, and a celeb of any level can draw more people.
2) Get a band that can boogie
The Chamber would love to have Fayetteville State University … from what I’m told. When you see a band like this perform, you’ll know why it’s such a crowd pleaser.
3) Shorter route = more people
There was a large crowd Sunday, but it was spread out. Shorten the parade route by a quarter of the length, and you’ll have more people lined up (or so it will appear) and fewer gaps in the crowd.
4) Allow throws!!!
This is the biggest one. Jennifer and I have seen our fair share of Louisiana parades, and it doesn’t matter if it’s Mardi Gras or Christmas, you’re going to get beads (and unlike the myth, you don’t have to ‘show’ anything for them, unless you’re in New Orleans for Mardi Gras). For Christmas, red and green beads or other Christmas items will be a huge hit.
I know Jennifer would have loved to do this this year … but there’s kind of an agreement with law enforcement that nothing will be tossed. This needs to change. There’s no safety hazard …
That’s it. I wrote a column Sunday defending the Chamber’s decision to host the parade on a Sunday.
CLICK HERE to read it.
Until next time, Happy Thanksgiving.