Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Fiesta Bowl Parade

Since we didn’t make the trip to Pasadena for the Parade of Roses and Rose Bowl, we just had to make due with going to the Fiesta Bowl Parade in downtown Phoenix on Saturday.

The parade started at 11am, and we arrived around 10:30 and found a place to park on a side street near the start of the parade route. 

Crowd waiting for the parade

It was crowded, but easier than we expected to find a place to park on the street, and after walking several blocks we found a spot on the sidewalk across from the parade announcers.

Parade Announcer

While we waited, we entertained ourselves by watching the vendors hawking their wares,


and some other interesting characters.


B-17 Bomber

Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl


Saturday night was the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl between the University of Michigan and Kansas State, and Bryce managed to snag a pair of cool sunglasses during the parade.


Soon enough, the action started and we began to see the parade moving toward us.










Ford provided the parade vehicles

With Ford as the vehicle sponsor, all of the dignitaries and VIPs were riding on the back of convertible Mustangs.

Mustangs to carry the parade VIPs

With those guys out of the way, and the Fiesta Bowl Committee,

Parade Committee











Spirit - the Fiesta Bowl Mascot

it was time for the fun stuff to start!  “Spirit” is the parade mascot, and her handlers were more than willing to get her spinning for the crowd!


There were plenty of other balloons, too, including a traditional indian doll,

Traditional doll

the US Airways jet,

US Airways Balloon

a cowboy,

Cowboy Balloon Spinning

and the Fiesta Bowl sponsor, Tostitos!

Sponsored by Tostitos

The Tostitos float was followed by a truckload of Tostitos snack bags and little containers of salsa, so we all got a snack!

There were lots of marching bands from around the country – both colleges and high schools,

Grand Canyon University

Marching Band


Another Marching Band

One of several marching bands from Ohio

Marching Band









even an elementary school,

Elementary School Band

and a few older folks, too!

Native American Marching Band

Firefighter Bagpipers


These guys were having fun











The biggest bands in the parade were from the two schools in the upcoming Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl --

Kansas State

Kansas State Mascot

Kansas State Band


and our hometown team, The University of Michigan.

Our hometown band

Michigan Band

Michigan Band











There were plenty of dancers, too,

Little Dancers

Traditional Mexican Dancers


Route 66 Dancers













Caribbean Dancers












both young and old!

Sun City Pom Pom Dancers - still going strong!

There were also equestrian groups,

Arabian Horses


Another beautiful team of horses



A beautiful team of horses

Wild women on horses

Miss Rodeo Arizona











including a group of Mountain men from Williams, Arizona,

Mountain Men

some US Marshalls,

US Marshalls

US Marshalls










and our “boss” in our current volunteer position.

Sherrif Joe

The parade kept going and going . . . for over 2 hours we watched as groups marched past us . . . and it never got boring, each group was talented and entertaining!

We loved the clowns . . .


and their vehicles!













Speaking of vehicles, there were lots of old cars and tricked-out trucks,

Lots of old cars

Trick Trucks









as well as a few classics . . .


Blues Brothers



and these cars carrying the parade Grand Marshalls – the families of the Granite Mountain Hotshots.

Grand Marshalls

There was still more . . .

Comic Book Characters

High Bikes


These high bikes were really cool!  There were about a dozen of them, and they road in circles in the road!

Big Red


Then there was the queen and her court . . .

Queen and her Court


But who got the most reaction from the crowd??  Well, these guys, of course – the pooper-scoopers!


One of the many pooper scooper crews


Whew!  That was our first major, nationally-televised parade, and it was a lot of fun!  We were impressed . . . and tired from standing . . . next time we’ll bring chairs!