Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Light Parade

First of all, an update on Danni's car. It's fixed! The coolest thing happened yesterday. I left $35 underneath the back tire of the car when I went to work in the morning, and when I came home the car was fixed. It's like I was visited by the car-mechanic fairy. I would highly recommend this method of car repair. Totally painless.

As I had mentioned before, Kylie and I went to our city's light parade Saturday night. They had a bunch of bouncy things for kids to jump on. Of course, they can't be free...they have to cost between 2 and 4 tickets each, where tickets cost $1. But, for $9 you can buy an all-you-can-bounce wristband. Well, no thinking required there. I think I would have spent $30 on tickets for my little motor-bouncer, so the $9 wristband was a great deal.

She did this...

And this...

And a whole lot of this.

She wanted to try the rock wall, but she got scared after she was about 10 ft off the ground, and wanted to come down.

Then it was time to find a spot to watch the parade. My point-and-shoot camera + dark + moving people + Christmas lights = pretty crappy pictures. But hey, I tried. That blur in the middle with the blonde hair is Danni. The flag girls were just twirling poles with Christmas lights wrapped around them.

One of the many lighted floats. Some of them were pretty cool. Others, pretty lame. That would be Kylie's big blonde head in the middle of the frame there.

After the parade, they have the lighting of the Tumbleweed Christmas Tree. A tumbleweed tree, you say? Well, yes. This is Arizona, right? It's just a big ol' tree they make out of tumbleweeds, spray paint white, and put lights all over it. It's about 35 feet tall.

They've had the tree for about 50 years now, it's a tradition thing here. I copied some stuff from the city website about it below, if you're interested. If you're not interested, then stop reading now.

A Community Tradition

This unique Chandler tradition began in 1957, when Chandler resident Earl Barnum raised the idea of a tumbleweed tree after he saw a similar one in Indiana built out of cone-shaped chicken wire with pine boughs stuck in the holes. Many members of the community helped create the first tree in Chandler using tumbleweeds that they gathered from around town. Little did these folks know that they were the first to do such a thing and that it would continue as an annual Christmas tradition from then on. In fact, Chandler is the only city in the southwestern United States that has such a tree!

How is it done?

First, members of the City's Park Operations Division gather tumbleweeds from the outskirts of the City. With Chandler's rapid growth and development, fewer stretches of empty land are within the City limits, which makes it harder to find tumbleweeds in large quantities. So, the Park crews must start collecting the tumbleweeds earlier each year.

Once the tumbling tumbleweeds are collected, between 1,500-2,000 are used to adorn a 35-foot tall wire frame. Then, the tumbleweeds are sprayed with 25 gallons of white paint, 20 gallons of flame retardant and dusted with 65 pounds of glitter. The tree is later adorned with approximately 1,200 holiday lights that give it a spectacular look, day or night.

The lighting of the Tumbleweed Tree draws a large crowd, with more than 12,000 expected to watch the Mayor and members of the City Council flip the switch to light this magnificent sight.


Jen E @ mommablogsalot said...

Oh sounds like fun and I'm so glad your daughter's car got fixed finally! :)

Lish said...

Glad her car got fixed...and so inexpensive too!

Looks fun! We have a Fetival of Lights Parade too...but ours is COLDDDDDDDDD sitting! Thankfully it runs only 2 houses down from my house, but it's still cold out there!

Mary said...

What? It's December already? The tumbleweed tree sounds cool - very creative.

Anonymous said...

Hey there, so glad you liked the float with the gingerbread men on it, that was my second year designing & building. I was googling past parades to see if anyone posted comments on my floats... wait till you see this years float!