Tuesday, December 06, 2011

I Love a Parade!

Our community's Holiday Parade was the longest, coldest, most fun night of the year! Everyone goes... everyone is in the parade, or knows someone in the parade. Anyone not in this category is missing out, and should come next year! And possibly the best represented bunch there? FIRST 2102 Team Paradox!

No. No, I am not biased. This is scientifically, statistaclly, emotionally, instinctively proven and true. Amen.

I shared one tiny fraction of the planning and work that goes into getting Lavender updated and spruced for her big night. Now you can see the final results, 'cause *surprise!* I took some pictures! If I had a maid, driver, personal trainer, and decorator I would take the time to make a video, and I would compose songs about how incredible these students and mentors are. I would write epic poems expounding the merits of young people reveling in the delights of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math, and Music... full STEAMM ahead!

Back: Kiley, Eli, Alex, Nate, Blake, Sam, Eric, Steve, Chester
Front: Sammay, Suki, Sarah, Erika, Lauren, Andy, Maria

Friends, old and new! The Robotics Club of SDA, FIRST 2102 Team Paradox. Spirited and Inspiring, an award winning, competitive, high school robotics team that designs, manufactures, builds, wires, programs and drives robots. A team that writes grants, volunteers and serves its community, mentors, and dances. A team that says, "Passion FIRST," and then acts on their convictions. A team that knows how to have a lot of fun!

Seriously. A. lot. of. fun.

But you gotta do the work, and take care of business time for the fun to be solid. Suki is business time.

Yellow on top, red on the bottom, blue capes, and Paradox all over.
All the colors play for Team Paradox.

Rick, our greatest distance traveling mentor, has made helping at the Holiday Parade his traditional contribution. We are lucky to have him. Eli, please thank your dad for his team spirit!

hahaha... here's where the light fades, and my photography gets wonky artistic. These wind up being my favorite shots, because they represent the electric charge, the energy and motion of the night! Erika and Victoria are energy and motion!

Annie and Maria are energy and motion!

These are taken on the side street where all the entrants are lining up, staging, preparing to hit the main street. The wait is hours long, but quite entertaining. We fix the float, and scrounge for snacks, we jump, cheer, laugh, visit, and enjoy the vibe.

Andrea and Suki

Friends and family come by, and we get to see many of the entrants rehearsing and getting their business together. All the schools, churches, Y-Clubs, youth groups, charities, local businesses, bands, organizations... the whole town! shows up with skateboards, bicycles, instruments, cool cars, contraptions, creations, smiles, and lights. Our float was #75... that's a lot of entrants!

Some families have children in two, three, even four different groups. Since our float was near last, we get more and more kids that join us when they have covered the route. It's like a dynamic conveyor belt, looping, and evolving as the parade goes.

Maria and her buddy, Myron

I have to add a personal note here. Thank you, Diana, Corina, Chris, Myron, Kiley, Kyle, and Sandy. I was telling Geoff how blessed I feel to be at home in this community, to have friends that think of us and help us, who we can turn to for support. In our town, and in our robotics family, I am frequently reminded that we have exceptionally kind and generous networks... it is an incalculable wealth. This night I was extra especially appreciative of these good friends.

Sammay, Geoff, Darrahl, Myron, Rick

Of course, now I am thinking: Thank them all! Everyone on this team, the families too, make being involved such a wonderful gift.

Darrahl and Bobbie

Yes! Thank you Team Paradox. You give our family countless blessings.

Grant. Grant, you came back!

Last year Grant gave blood along the parade route, when he fell while dazzling the crowds in his robotic costume. This is definitely more than we expect of our team members, so we are glad he honored us by fearlessly returning to the scene of his sacrifice.

Our friends, Chris and Corina, came by to see the float in action. Alex was happy to show them Lavender's new skills. She can rise and bow, chomp her jaws, and turn at the base. Lights aplenty, and our fog machine flowing. Parade regulations prohibit flames, and projectiles (not even chocolates *insert face of befuddlement!*)

Okay... we got there at four, and we are still waiting for our turn down 101. The night is long, but never dull. It's basically a street party, where we can enjoy a little civil disobedience, like riding in truck beds, and dancing in the streets.

Bobby is meeting Henry!

Maria wanted to dance, but her next choice was to ride in the pick up bed and wave to everyone. And her wish came true!

Check out the mini-bot tower, transformed into a tree of lights!
Check out all of those bright and dedicated Paradoxians!
Check out Lavender's sexy pose... she really is shiny!

Engineers are cool.
Enough said.

Here we go!
Suki reminded everyone where to place themselves, led us in a cheer, and we moved out! And she's keeping Grant safe too. She's so business.

Not yet on the official route, but Maria and I are already waving and cheering!
Hi Corina! Hi Chris! Hi Henry!
I love it when this city feels like a small town.

We turn the corner. Alex oversees the arm. Sammay has the drill ready. Eli has the control. Let's do this thing!

2102 on the 101!

Lavender turning and shining and thrilling the crowds! Up front our team dancing and cheering Paradox fashion... with spirit!

We found friends all up and down the street.

Play "I Spy Karen and Tom."

Maria saw her teacher, and I saw Adriana! Hi Adriana! Hi Paul! Hola Araiya!


Rotating love.

I could hear the crowd cheer when Lavender turned to face them!

She has sweet moves!

And the kids started lining up for Paradox tags!

We've got spirit!
Yes, we do!
We've got spirit, how 'bout you?!

After riding with 4H, Olivia jumped aboard the Paradox float.

Then Kyle joined us, and Sandy rode alongside.
By now the parade was "over," but the fun was far from over. Going trolling speed we went back to the staging area, picking up friends along the way, making sure everyone had rides. Lavender's base was secured to the trailer, boxes were moved to the truck bed, a giant pizza was ordered, and we made our way safely and happily back to the Bird House.

As soon as things get cleaned up, and Lavender comes down from the trailer, I want to convince Geoff and Alex to set her up in the front yard. We never get holiday lights set up, and I cannot think of a better display than Lavender and the mini-bot tower lighting up our winter nights!

One last picture, because Kyle's smile lights up a winter night quite nicely, too!


Alison said...

WHAT!!?? No chocolate??

Well, I do agree with you that it feels like you live in a small town, from your description. I'm a bit jealous, I am. So nice to see the kids (and adults) enjoying the fruits of their labors.

But still..no chocolate? Hmph.

ArtyZen said...

Wow, Wow, Wow! This looks just fantastic fun.Such a tribute to everyone involved. Love the photography.

judy in ky said...

Sweet! I love your artistic photography; the excitement comes right through. These kids are great, and Maria is so lucky to be right in the middle of it all.

warren said...

So cool! I only have one problem...A Christmas parade where some folks aren't wearing coats? Not fair!