Sunday, December 3, 2023

Parading Around - Week of Nov. 27th

Santa Claus parades are most common in North America. One of the largest is the Toronto Santa Claus Parade, held annually in mid-November in Toronto, started in 1905 by the Eaton's department store. That year Santa arrived on a train and met Mr. and Mrs. Timothy Eaton, then walked to the Eaton's Downtown store. The first float was introduced in 1908 and consisted of one truck with a band to accompany Santa. The parade now has over 24 floats, 24 bands, and 1,700 participants, and is broadcast in several countries. 
Peoria, Illinois has the longest running Santa Claus Parade in the U.S. The parade celebrated its 131st edition on November 23, 2018. The first parade in 1887 consisted of boats and derricks sailing down the river as part of the new bridge construction. In 1888, Peoria held a parade through town, celebrating the completion of the new Upper Free Bridge. The following December, Frederick Block of the Schipper and Block Department Store (later Block & Kuhl's) sponsored a parade that followed the same route and featured Santa Claus. This created the concept of a department-store parade that was later emulated in larger cities. Various attractions in the parade through the years included fireworks, circus wagons, a calliope, live reindeer and numerous parade floats. The parade was first televised in 1958.

Heading into December, we enter the Michigan unpredictable weather phase.  On Tuesday morning, we woke up to see a dusting of snow on the ground.  It didn't stick around, but it was a reminder that the white stuff is imminent.
Wednesday evening, Cameron attended his power soccer practice.  His buddy, April, was happy to be back after missing the last few sessions.

The weekend was packed full of activities.  Friday evening, Ms. Amanda stayed with Cam while Chris hosted a work event downtown that Jane was invited to.

It was a later night for Cam's parents, but they were up bright and early the next morning.  The Weatherford fam was committed to participate in the Ada Village Santa Parade to support Brody's Be Cafe.  For over 25 years the annual parade, hosted by the Ada Firefighters, has ensured that Santa arrives in style.  We parked at the Ada library and made our way over to River Street for the line-up.  The Brody's Be Cafe crew was stationed directly behind the Forest Hills Northern Marching Band!  The band was leading the procession and we were all in place one hour prior to send off.

When 11am finally arrived, the marchers began their music.  We followed behind, passing out flyers and candy to all of the parade spectators.  Cam wore an apron to advertise the cafe.  The route took us by Brody's Be and we saw quite a few friends along the way.  The entire length of parade was just under a mile.  Fortunately, it wasn't unbearably cold and the movement and activity kept us motivated.  The fire station was the end of the line for the participants and we made our back to the cafe.  We were all offered a free hot cocoa with homemade whipped cream, which was readily accepted.  Ms. Rachel gave Cam a big hug, thanking him for being a part of the event and we snapped a pic of best buds, Brody and Cam, in front of the "mug tree" display.
That afternoon, we all warmed up and relaxed.  

Saturday evening, we welcomed back Kaylee.  She hung out with Cameron pre-pandemic and we hadn't seen her since 2020.  Even though it had been three years, the two friends picked up where they left off.  While Cam and Kaylee played games and watched a show, Chris and Jane spent their evening with Chris' coworkers celebrating the holiday.  A mobile photo booth captivated the techie group.

Sunday was a rainy day, but it didn't deter Jane and her son from continuing with their planned trip to Grand Haven to visit Oma and Opa.  After a drive-thru Panera Bread stop, they delivered brunch to Cam's grandparents.  We had a fun afternoon completing small projects, visiting the library and sitting by the fireplace.
When we arrived back in Grand Rapids, we all settled in for the evening.  Jane & Chris asked Cam about ordering pizza that night.  To their surprise, Cameron requested a "home-cooked" meal after weekend take-out two nights in a row!

Camology Quotes:

Cameron and his mom make the long trek down the driveway every weekday morning at 6:20 to meet the bus.  Upon wake-up, we hear the weather forecast from Alexa and the temperature.  Of course, it isn't until we actually look out our doorway that we are aware what it will be like when we go outside.  The grass and pavement had a very thin layer of snow.  Jane quickly indicated that she and Cam would be fine traversing the hill.  Her son quickly chimed in...

"I'll be the judge of that!"

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