Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Giant Balloon Limbo

Ryan here.

Macy's has their Thanksgiving Day parade, and Salt Lake City has the Pioneer Day Parade, but for the 4th of July, you want to be in Provo. All the neighboring cities send floats and representatives. There are celebrities (of the Utah variety), fancy floats, all kinds of music, and a rare glimpse of giant balloon limbo.

Cassie and I usually haven't made the hike up to see the parade. I say hike because there's nowhere to park. Hiking it would take less time and gas.This year, however, we decided the kids ought to experience the parade, so we waded into the sea of humanity. We squeezed into a spot next to the  7th East traffic circle.

Take a gander:

If you've ever experienced the Provo parade, you know the folks here start staking out their spots early. Days before the parade, you see people camping out, pitching tents and pavilions, and cordoning off spots. I've seen college students planting a ratty couch or two along University Avenue.

A year ago, the city council took some steps to limit this practice. You can read about some of those measures here.

The parade began with a police motorcade. Eric was impressed.

Then came the fire engines.

And who is that looming, furry figure perched on that fire engine?

Why yes, it's Smoky the Bear.

It's almost 100 degrees here. I feel so sorry for whoever is in that suit.

Next came a string of Utah officials, including Provo mayor John Curtis . . .

. . . governor Gary Herbert . . .

. . . Congressman Jason Chaffetz . . .

. . . and the Mighty Thor.

Those crimson-clad miscreants from the north even put in an appearance.

Then came the musical acts. Here's a barbershop quartet the kids really enjoyed:

For my brother-in-law Tyler, here's the Payson High Piper Band.


They even had a Madagascar float. Eric got the lion to wave at him.

Finally, I give you giant balloon limbo. Our location near the traffic circle gave us a unique view into giant logistics. When planning out your parade route, consider any  low-lying power and phone lines that might hamper your giant balloon's style. The volunteers made it work, though.

Here they have to squeeze a giant Tom (of Tom and Jerry fame) into the traffic circle.


Jerry gave them similar grief.

 All in all we had a fantastic time. After two hours, however, I figured Beth had gotten enough sun. 

We hope you're all having an amazing Independence Day. Despite the turmoil in our country, we have so much to be grateful for.