I got to be in my third parade in Kona since July! My family and I joined Nancy Sweatt, owner of Dolphin Journeys, on her float in the Kona Coffee and Cultural Heritage parade on Saturday. We invited our new Kona friends to join us with their children, as well. Getting lined up and ready for our third trip down Alii Drive in downtown was just too fun. Our friends, a family from Atlanta, GA and a family from Temecula, CA all agreed that you just don’t get to jump onto a parade float very often.
The kids were yelling, “ALOOOOOOOHA!” and blowing bubbles to the crowd, while the adults were swinging coffee cups and encouraging the crowd to drink Kona Coffee..(I was also helping my friend Nancy out by telling people to drink Kona coffee AND swim with the dolphins!”) The happy faces from the crowd, the shaka signs and the greetings of Aloha were just so rewarding and memorable. When we were in the 4th of July parade, we used water guns to shoot the crowd..I mean cool them off. Then we switched to bubbles for the IronMan Parade of Nations and decided it was a safe and happy crowd pleaser.
Nancy thinks we were helping her with marketing and outreach by being on the float. We knew we were doing it for the opportunity to be big fish in a little pond…to be those “cool folks” who get to wave and drive by on a parade float with hands waving and grins plastered on our faces. Being on a parade float makes you feel like you truly belong to a town. You get to participate. You get to get your face in the local paper (which is exactly what happened to my daughter for the Ironman parade!) and you get to invite your friends to join you..and then they belong to the town, too.
I wish for everyone to have a chance to participate in a parade-maybe if you are around for the Holiday Parade in December, Nancy can find some space on the float for ya and you can blow bubbles, too!