The Santa Parade in my town marched for the 82nd time this past Saturday and I just couldn’t be more damn giddy. Our little home town offering is a blend of symmetry, precision, kitchen table crafts with the kids, local royalty, and a dash of good ol’ fashion crazy. It was my darling boyfriend’s first live parade ever, a grievous childhood oversight. Having grown up in Miami, where they have “real” parades, he has more of a New Yorker’s point of view-that it’s easier to see on t.v. anyway and less people to smell. The idea of getting up and traipsing downtown to watch a bunch of people wearing shorts and Santa hats jingling bells and trying to look officially parade-like was rather silly. But he was game, and so off we went.
After a three mile walk from a friend’s house to avoid downtown parking, we found a nice little spot at the end of the parade route. I’ve never really felt shorted by this location and this year was no exception. The smiles are as big, folks are at the end of the need to ration their bead and candy stash, and the fact that the end is in sight gives every performance a certain extra something. Highlights included a creepy Santa muppet thingie being waved out a window, the ALWAYS wonderful Righteously Outrageous Twirling Corps, whose members are indeed as fabulous as their name would imply (for “fabulous” read “gay gay gay!”, and they rock) and the St. Pete Pride group, responsible for the local Gay Pride parade, who handed out candy cane stapled to, wait for it, Macy’s coupons. Never, EVER send a straight man to do a gay man’s job. They just do it so much better. My homemade reindeer antlers were a big hit, and I highly recommend them for any parade goer, young or old. Start with super cheap ($1) antler headbands from any dollar store or other (I got mine at Target in the dollar bins) and go insane with puffy paint. I firmly believe these got me more beads than boobs would have at Mardi Gras. I got a pic with the ROTC boys and all and all, a great time was had by the both of us. Santa was too skinny, but I think he might have eating my bulimic gingerbread men.