Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom-will there be enough room?

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom-will there be enough room?
That was the theme of our 4th of July float. And it was A.D.O.R.A.B.L.E! The theme of this year's parade was in honor of the Falls Public Library's 100th Anniversary. So I thought up this little theme for us mom's to do with our kids. Boy did we have a blast prepping, decorating, and participating in the festivities.
I had Auntie Tolle (Linda) paint a 4x8 sheet of Styrofoam just like the book cover. This book is a very well known children's book, but apparently "my generation" is the group that it is well known by. Many older adults had never heard of it. It took Linda all of 2 days to crank out this huge book cover. I had her paint a shout out splash on the back too, wishing the Library a Happy Anniversary!
I borrowed some PVC palm trees from another local business owner. Us moms glued tons of alphabet letters on the trees so they would look like they were "falling" out of the tree. Bear was a great help figuring out how to secure all the props on the trailer. The huge hex nuts we used to weight down the palm trees were perfect! The braces he placed to make sure the sign didn't blow over during the parade were perfect. The invisible line he secured the sign with was great in theory until Jillian and I snapped them both off in the middle of the parade.

We had just 3 different nights of decorating. One night we prepped the trailer with the green grass, started adhering the grass skirts around the edge, and worked on the palm trees stands. The kids always started out helping us and then it turned into the moms in the garage working while 10-20 kids ran around in my backyard playing with each other! Another night we had the kids make paper mache coconuts. Now that was a giant fun mess! They also had to come back to paint them...well they started to paint them and then we had to finish. By the time float day came, it looked really, really awesome!

One of the best parts was the freezies we handed out! Each mom bought a few boxes of freezies and froze them, then we loaded them into coolers on the float and had the kids hand them out during the parade. We passed out 5,000 freezies in Int'l Falls!!! 5,000! And we ran out at the end. We also tried to just give them to kids, not all the adults. Which makes me wonder just how many people are downtown on the 4th of July? It's amazing.
The kids were breaking apart all the freezies and literally freezing their hands off. It was super hot and humid that day, but they dug out their wool mittens to get the job done.
I of course had colored spray from last year. So I made sure to use it up on any child with in my reach that was willing. Noah and my kids were all over having their hair spiked and sprayed.
The only bummer about being in the parade is missing the rest of it. I really thought that when you lined up you would see all the floats, but you don't. Most of the kids were okay with that, because once we got moving there was no stopping and less time to think. We were sweating our butts off handing out 5,000 freezies!

Here is our whole group. All 25 Chicka Chicka Boom Boom kids. The shirts they all wore/made turned out super cute too. We were losing letters all over the place, but it sort of went with the book! The walking Alphabet was a total hit with the spectators and the judges. We took 3rd Place in the themed category and won $100. We donated the money to the Children's Library and were able to purchase new books from each group of siblings that participated in the float. The books that are purchased with have a seal in the front cover saying "Happy 100th Anniversary-From (name of the kids)" The librarian is going to let me know what books are purchased and from what kids so that the families can go check out the book that has their children's names listed. I had to sneak a little lesson about donating to your community in there somehow.
After all was said and done, we demolished the float...with the help of my 2 nieces and the boys. It was sad to see it go, but it had been so much fun! Parker found a great way to use the coconuts in the end...a helmet and matching football.

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