On June 5th, almost 50 players representing St. Wolfgang's Bavarian Guild, Ye Merrie Greenwood Faire, Sherwood Robin Hood Days, Gig Harbor Renaissance Faire and Gothic Fantasy, and Shrewsbury Renaissance Faire rode on a float in the Portland General Electric/SOLV Starlight Parade Presented by Southwest Airlines (the politically correct name for Portland Oregon's Starlight Parade) This is the second largest illuminated parade in the known world. (It's hard to compete with Disney) The float was designed by Steven Overton, Guildmaster of St. Wolfgang's, who won an award for the best non-commercial float in the 1996 Starlight Parade with a float for OMSI (The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry). This year's float was built by members of St Wolfgang's at several work parties prior to the parade. It was assembled on a 66 foot flatbed truck donated by Ralph and Joyce Hovis of Coast Crane and Equipment Company, and carefully driven to the parade staging area, and in the parade, by their intrepid driver Scott.
The float was entered in the parade to call attention to the Renaissance Faires in the Pacific Northwest region so it carried the banner of the Pacific Northwest Renaissance Faire Association. We arrived at the staging area at around 2:30 Saturday afternoon, and we spent the rest of the time before the parade putting finishing touches on the float. (What that really means is that Steve Overton and helpers were madly rushing to finish Faffner, the giant purple dragon that was the centerpiece of the float. --- hmmm, can a centerpiece be on the back end of a float?)
Although the weather in Portland this June has been cold and rainy (dhhhh), the rain gods were kind and we had just a brief sprinkle about an hour before the parade. This allowed us to display our color-coordinated fuscia-colored umbrellas, but they weren't needed during the parade.
The parade kicked off at 8:30 in the evening and wound its way through downtown Portland, Oregon, The parade was broadcast regionally by a Portland TV station. An estimated 350,000 spectators lining the route of the parade cheered us on. Although the float didn't win any awards, it did foster a greater feeling of togetherness among the members of the groups involved. And besides that, everyone had a ball.
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