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.
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.
While we waited, we entertained ourselves by watching the vendors hawking their wares,
and some other interesting characters.
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.
With Ford as the vehicle sponsor, all of the dignitaries and VIPs were riding on the back of convertible Mustangs.
With those guys out of the way, and the Fiesta Bowl Committee,
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,
the US Airways jet,
and the Fiesta Bowl sponsor, 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,
even an elementary school,
and a few older folks, too!
The biggest bands in the parade were from the two schools in the upcoming Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl --
and our hometown team, The University of Michigan.
There were plenty of dancers, too,
both young and old!
There were also equestrian groups,
including a group of Mountain men from Williams, Arizona,
some US Marshalls,
and our “boss” in our current volunteer position.
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,
as well as a few classics . . .
and these cars carrying the parade Grand Marshalls – the families of the Granite Mountain Hotshots.
There was still more . . .
These high bikes were really cool! There were about a dozen of them, and they road in circles in the road!
Then there was the queen and her court . . .
But who got the most reaction from the crowd?? Well, these guys, of course – the pooper-scoopers!
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!