Parade Balloon Handler. Really.

Each month I try a new volunteer activity.  This one was unexpected.  I volunteered to help walk a balloon in the Cherry Blossom parade.  So totally random.  On such a beautiful day.

We had to get there early – 7:30 am. So once we were shown the ropes (ha, ha, pun intended), it was a lot of standing, waiting, and trying to keep the balloon from blowing away, until we were ready to march.  But it was interesting to hang out with our fellow marchers.

And then we were moved into position. The wind was somewhat strong, and it was a lot of work.  Especially when we realized that the balloons were backwards, and when we turned them around, all of a sudden I and one other person were in the position facing into the wind the most.  We became the anchors.  (Sure the two girls on the ropes behind me could have helped more, but they were more interested in chatting.)  The other folks did their bit when they could, and when the wind really began to blow, it only slightly picked me off my feet once.  Then as the day warmed up, the wind died down, and it was just a pleasant walk, with some cheering by us and the thousands lining Constitution Avenue. Occasionally we spun the balloon, just for fun.

Here are photos of the parade itself.

DSC04829 DSC04833

Friends of mine were in the crowd, and took this action shot when they realized it was me. I thought I heard my name called!

Friends of mine were in the crowd, and took this action shot when they realized it was me. I thought I heard my name called!

Other random photos from the festival.  Costumes seem to be in order, btw.

The End (just not with cherry tree blossoms):

DSC04848

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