You would be surprised at the amount of work that goes into participating in a parade. As a professional entertainer I know that most audiences do not know the amount of work it takes to put on a performance, but I had no idea it was the same with participating in a parade. New lessons learned every day!
Planning what to wear becomes more than just opening the "gown closet." This is January in Phoenix. It was cold. (I know, it's nothing compared to other parts of the country, but I'm acclimated to hot and hotter.) So all of my strapless gowns would need some sort of warm top. But a glitzy, sparkly top befitting a parade. I have them, but none are warm. SO I decided on the vintage Lillie Rubin dress you see in the photo (I love vintage!). The problem was that the dress is only 3/4 length, not a gown. Solution: wear it over long palazzo pants and black knee boots. I'd be sitting in the car anyway and no one would see it; when I did stand up I was told it looked "very Russian." And I was warm. In fact, a little too warm as the day progressed!.
That's where the waiting really begins. The parade itself is a very short period of time compared to the actual waiting to get moving. But it was a wonderful time to catch up with old friends and a chance to make new friends (I thoroughly enjoyed meeting Mrs. India Arizona 2009 riding in a powder blue T-Bird behind me.)
The parade route was lined with so many people all enjoying the great weather and the parade, especially the children. Great smiles. lots of people waving and lots of people shouting "Happy New Year." And I was surprised at how many Rhode Islanders there were - people shouting out cities they were from really made it special for me. But when they started shouting "Welcome to Phoenix" and "How do you like our weather?" I didn't have the heart to tell them I'd been living here in Arizona for 20 years!
You see, I am representing Rhode Island, my family's home state and where I spent much of the happier times of my youth, as a delegate-at-large at the national Ms. Senior America Pageant in Atlantic City in October 2014. So while I live in Arizona, I actually represent Rhode Island. I know it's confusing, but most of life is confusing anyway! Why should this be an exception?