Last week was the neighborhood's annual kid's parade. A few months ago, I volunteered to help coordinate it since it seemed like it might not take place otherwise. This was the 27th of the parade, so I couldn't very well let the tradition die. I had big ideas of making the parade better! and more fun! than years past, but with a teeny-tiny budget and little assistance, there was only so much I could do. Shout-out to my wonderful husband who printed flyers at work to help promote the parade! A few ladies in the neighborhood offered to help deliver the flyers to get the word out, put big signs on street corners and pick up snacks to give away.
|My flyer delivery team|
I tried to think of activities the older neighborhood kids might enjoy but since I'm not a parent to children in this age range, I had a hard time coming up with (free) things to incorporate. One idea was to organize a "transportation fair" with big trucks on display. Think: fire truck, police car, mail truck, sanitation truck, ambulance, helicopter, etc., but with a 7:00pm start for the parade, I had a hard time getting service vehicles to commit after hours. I successfully secured a fire truck, police truck and an ice cream truck to attend, and everyone seemed excited to see those.
I also thought about organizing carnival games like a cake walk, ring toss or tug of war but lost steam on those ideas. Again with the very small budget, so most of it would've been funded out of my own pocket. I do think this could be a fun idea for future years ....
In the end, the neighborhood parade turned out to be a great little event. It was fun seeing parents with kids, prideful about bike decorations and their funky outfits. We gave away prizes for some of the best-dressed costumes / bike decorations and served cookies for everyone. Turnout was great, thanks to the beautiful weather that evening and lots of people stayed around afterwards to socialize and play in the park. Helping with the parade rejuvenated my desire to get involved in our community. There's some great families around our 'hood and it's a part of why we enjoy living here so much.
This is the ice cream truck you get with no commitment for minimum purchases. Actually, even though the van looks a little creeper-ish, it was really great for this company to come out (at no charge!) and sell ice cream. It was the first time we'd ever had an ice cream truck at the parade and the kids loved it.
... until next year!