Parade Gig

IMG_0121What’s it like to be in a parade?  Not one like the huge Macy or Rose Bowl parades, but one in Average Town, USA.

Hubby and I are a community band that participates in parades but doesn’t march. Instead, we ride on a semi-truck’s flatbed trailer and sit on folding chairs.

Sounds great, right?  Well, it depends. IMG_0095

The name, flatbed, is an accurate description of these trailers with no sides. Quite often their floor consists of partially rotted or cracked wooden boards filled with knotholes.These flatbeds are anywhere from three to six feet off the ground. We climb on and off using step ladders.

Metal folding chairs are set up three or four across. For band members sitting along the side, only a few inches separates them from the edge and a nasty fall.

The ride along the parade route sometimes feels like a musical version of the old Weeble IMG_0101Wobble toys, depending on how smooth the truck driver starts out from all the stops encountered in every parade. A jerky start results in wobbling chairs and falling music stands, especially scary for the musicians perched along the sides of the flatbed.

Last Saturday, our band played in the local harvest parade.  Our flatbed was only three feet off the ground and had a metal floor…classy.

IMG_0116The parade began at 1:00 PM with a 12:15 PM report time to the staging area — it takes a while to set up chairs, attach band banners, pass out parade music, and tune instruments.

However, our band had time to spare — we were in the parade’s last division and didn’t pull out until sometime around 2:30 PM.

All for the love of playing music…

About Kathie Mitchell

Kathie enjoys country living, time with family, playing cornet in community bands, crafts, gardening, and writing.
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