Once a year, since 1982, I wake up and think, "Whoa, I'm putting on parade today!". Hours rush by as I pack costumes, banners and signs, checking off each item on a long "to do" list.
Yesterday I did those things again as it poured outside. Francesca and I then drove through thick morning rain to arrive at the site of this year's Kid's King Mango Strut parade, the Miami Book Fair downtown.
This time around every group had some sort of literary theme from saving libraries to writer's block.
As participants showed up we huddled inside a large tent hoping the rain would stop. At showtime, it did.
It has never rained on a King Mango parade.
We stepped out and waltzed happily through the popular South Florida event.
Here are a few photos,
As we are about to begin, the young lady inside the King Mango Mask, Anais Aleman, welcomes the crowd.
"Brown Bear, Brown Bear" - The well-known children's book portrayed by Francesca's Pre-K students from Sibley K-8, as they prepare to strut.
Dr. Who (and his mother)
A very wicked witch
Key West habitue, Ernest Hemingway
Nicholas Psarrakas (as Dave Barry) takes a bow
Pete the Cat and his Four Groovy Buttons
The book that tells us why garbage trucks are important,
"I Stink!" Truck driven by Winston Park K-8 Center's
Sofia Gomez smiling through her flower mask for the book, "The Tiny Seed".
The goldfish behind her is her sister, Natalia.
Curious George reaching out for some cool air (it must
have been sweltering inside those thick costumes!)
Four of the amazing Reading Robots and a trio of Marjory Stoneman Douglases
We haven't taught cursive writing in public schools in years. The 2013 Kid's King Mango Strut celebrated its passing...
Greg, the hero of the "Wimpy Kid" series.
Bao Kasten & friend, "Please Save Us!"
We ended up by a concert stage where Seattle's popular group, Recess Monkey,
was playing. What better way to wind up this year's parade, with a dance party!
A big thanks to Miami Dade College for letting us be a part of the 30th Miami Book Fair International. Also, Peter Kasten who took many of these photographs.
Parade's Meme Ferre and Miami Dade College President, Dr. Eduardo Padron, with our festive poster.
Faithfully reporting from The Mango Republic,
The Grove Guy,
(the one with the short legs)