On Thursday night, Katie Anne and I rode on the Century Bank float in the annual Christmas Parade! It was very, very cold out there! Katie Anne and I arrived at Tabernacle Baptist Church to line up with the other parade participants at 5:15. This was our first time riding in the parade, so we didn't know exactly how everything would go. Luckily, we bundled up sufficiently and weren't too cold. However, I didn't realize that - because we were one of the last floats - we'd have to sit on the hay bales on the bank's decorated trailer for an hour and forty minutes! Wow! Needless to say, we got just a little bored while waiting on the parade to start. Unfortunately, I hadn't adequately prepared for the wait, and we didn't really have anything to do. Luckily, I had a small container of green Play-doh in my purse, so we spent some time making Play-doh shapes with our freezing cold hands, alternating with warm-up periods of mitten wearing when we got too cold. Here are some pictures of us before the parade started.
Little Miss Bundled Up
"I'm, like, sooo ready for this parade to, like, start."
Having a fun time once Mommy found the Play-doh
After about an hour and fifteen minutes of entertaining ourselves with about 2 oz of Play-doh, Katie Anne came up with the brilliant idea to make us two mustaches to wear.
Unfortunately, since our only color choice was lime green and we're not too skilled at making mustaches, our fabulous fake facial hair looked suspiciously like giant boogers.
Whatever it takes to entertain a two-and-a-half-year-old in 30 degree weather for an hour and forty minutes, right?
While we were waiting in the parking lot, my family was waiting at Century Bank for the parade to ride by.
Saunders couldn't ride on the float with us because he'd been at a conference in Atlanta all day and wouldn't make it back until it was too late. Instead, he helped serve hot chocolate at the bank and watched the parade, too.
Here are some of the best floats...
The Budweiser Clydesdales
Finally, here comes the Century Bank float!
The float stopped at the bank, and Katie Anne and I hopped out to visit with everyone and watch the rest of the parade from there.
Overall, riding in the parade was a fun experience. Once the parade got going, Katie Anne had a good time waving at the crowds - which were surprisingly HUGE - and yelling "Merry Christmas!" and "Ho ho ho!" to the people lining the streets. I'm not sure if we'll participate next year, but if we do, I'll go into it more prepared. I won't arrive quite so early, and I'll bring more drinks, snacks, and things to entertain us until the parade starts. Hopefully, Saunders's schedule will work out so that he could ride with us, too.
After the parade, Katie Anne went home with my parents while Saunders and I helped the Advocates for Bartow's Children host an after-party at The City Loft and Cellar. We had food, drinks, and games for guests to play. We also had lots of prizes to give away from donors. Saunders and I paid $20 to get in on the Dirty Santa game, and I chose wisely... I won a $50 gift card to Bugaboo Creek Steakhouse! It was a fun night, and the best part was that we raised almost $800 for the Flowering Branch Children's Shelter!