Saturday, December 1, 2007

Children's Parade

Our morning was spent at the Neiman-Marcus Adolphus Children's Parade in Downtown Dallas. We left a little later this morning than we thought would be necessary because someone was up until 3:30 A.M. playing video games like someone is still in college, and that someone had an unfortunate response to the alarm clock when it began screaming at 6:00 A.M. (Just so we're clear, it wasn't me. I always have an unfortunate response to the alarm clock.)

Despite the somewhat late start and a brief stop for breakfast hotdogs, we got downtown in a reasonable amount of time, found a great parking spot in a cheap lot, and arrived at the parade area before it became really crowded. This was our first year to go to the NMACP, so we didn't know we could take our folding chairs. We brought a blanket to sit on (excellent for marking our our parade-viewing territory), but ended up just standing on the side of the street and still had an excellent place in which to view the parade.

The floats and firetrucks had T.V. and literary characters on them (like Clifford, TMNT, Madeline, Frog and Toad, etc.), and the inflatables were of Frosty the Snowman, Curious George, Jay Jay the Jet Plane, Santa Claus, Hello Kitty, Three Penguins, and Paddington Bear. To spice up our experience, there was some kind of holiday heckler behind us shouting "Merry Christmas" at the most peculiar times.

True story: The Neiman Marcus Adolphus Children's Parade enjoys crowds of more than 350,000 in downtown Dallas, is seen in syndication on more than 350 television stations in 159 markets across the country, and has become a holiday tradition for thousands of families throughout North Texas and coast to coast. So, we're standing on the side of the road in a city where we don't live or do any day-to-day business and we're buried among this huge crowd watching a parade of loads of strangers.

About halfway through the parade, this banner-holder dressed like a clown and leading a float looks over at us, calls my husband by name, and waves to him. James shouts, "Hey," and waves back, then looks at me and wonders aloud who that was. We still don't know the clown's true identity, and don't know that we ever will. I have to say that even though we don't know who it was who said "Hey" to James, and even though it was some banner-carrying clown and not the mayor or anything, it was oddly fantastic for my husband to be picked out of a crowd of hundreds of thousands for a personal greeting. Weird, right? (Me, not the greeting. No, that was weird, too.)

Amidst the waving beauty queens, morning news celebrites, floats and floating characters, marching bands and animals were three of the most unusual parade troupes. There were three different troupes of older women just doing different dance routines. I can't remember the name of two of them, but one I recall that was particularly funny was The Red Hot Mamas from Coeur d'Alene, ID. This troupe of middle-aged to older women did a little dance number around tinselled strollers. One was even pushed in a wheel chair! There was no point to these routines at all, and there were no miscellaneous troupes of young women dancers to balance it out (save for some high school troupe dressed like the Rockettes who marched and didn't dance at all). They were so random and so funny that I intend to look into what it takes to get into a parade. Perhaps that could be a goal for later life -- to join a peculiar parade troupe and travel the world.


All content © Mandigirl, 2007-2013.