Big worries for Big Parade
Anyone who was in attendance for Saturday’s Big Parade would be hard pressed to call the day-long event anything but perfect. Prior to the event though, the organizers of the event were wondering if there would be another.
“This might have been our biggest parade, to date,” said James Peake, one of the organizers of the Big Parade. “It seems to grow more and more every year we have it.”
Up until Saturday morning though, Peake and Laura Dahle, another organizer of the parade, weren’t sure that would be the case.
“There’s this period of time where we’re not sure if anyone is going to show up for the parade,” said Peake. “It doesn’t seem like anyone is making anything yet. Often a lot of groups, particularly the college students, wait until the very last minute to throw their floats together.”
The stress of organizing such a large parade caused many of the organizers to consider canceling the parade next year. After seeing the participation and support of the community on Saturday though, they had a change of heart.
“Sometimes all the work just falls on a few individuals, and the whole way through it we’re wondering if we’re even going to go through with it next year, or do we want want to do this? Is it worth it?” said Peake.
“Of course after this past Saturday, and this amazing event, of course it’s worth it. We’re definitely going to do it again.”
Still, Peake said he’d like to see some changes in the infrastructure of planning the parade, namely, actually adding an infrastructure.
Peake admits this may be contrary to what Zach Moser, one of the parade founders, had in mind when the Big Parade first started.
“I think Zach was sort of opposed to this structure, this organization that has been created around this event,” Peake said. “But in order for an event like this to sustain itself, it needs the proper infrastructure.”
While Peake would like to see a more structured way of orgainzing the event, he doesn’t want to get away from Big Parade’s core values of being a community event, rather than an event put on by the city or Oberlin College. One way he feels this could happen is by more support from community members in planning and preparing for the parade.
“In order for it to keep growing, or at least keep the momentum that it has going now, we need more people to get involved,” Peake said.
According to Peake, many organizations were involved with the parade, such as Girl Scout Troop 123, Welcome Nursing Home, and Kendal. FAVA, of which Peake is the Education and Outreach Coordinator, has also been heavily involved in assisting groups with making floats, puppets, and costumes for the parade.
FAVA will offer puppet making classes to community members starting in the fall that will deal with processional arts.
Peake said that he and the other organizers are already starting to think about next year’s parade, saying it’s never too early to “Think Parade.”