And Fun for Kids and Neighbors
By LOU KAMER
Last Fourth of July, there was a grown guy driving a huge, thirty-five foot, smoke-billowing, music-blaring truck down Sunset, zigzagging through all lanes and screaming out the window at people on the street!
I never thought that one of the things I would do in my life was – become THAT GUY.
When I was a kid, I looked forward to a few special times each year – Halloween or New Year’s Eve or maybe the start of baseball season.
They were special to me because I was sharing them with family and friends, but more so because my parents did something to make the celebrations that much more special for me.
When my wife and I found ourselves in the same position with our kids, we decided to do the same for the Palisades Fourth of July parade.
I’ve never been a fan of most parades. Many are over-produced or boring, with lots of waiting, the smell of horse poop, and overpriced junk for kids to break on the way home.
That said, the Pacific Palisades parade is different. It is the one event all year that brings all neighbors and the different communities together – and it’s ours.
Still, it sometimes can get a little boring, which is why two years ago I decided to invite a bunch of kids to come up with an idea for a float that captured what living in the Palisades was all about.
We called it the Alphabet Streets Spectacular. “Ring” sponsored it and it was a blast. Seriously. Parents helped out, nobody got hurt, and the kids (mine included) got to see how fun it can be to bring their ideas and dreams to life and take pride in what they had accomplished.
One six-year-old told me “I will remember this forever!”
So, this year and every year until my kids go to college, I will be THAT GUY again, driving erratically down Sunset with a bunch of smiling kids waving at their friends and thousands of other parade-goers.
In the process the float builders will form bonds with each other that will give them and our community, a certain future.
I invite any of you or your kids to help create this year’s float or to build your own for your part of the Palisades.
If you’ve never done it before or feel hesitant or just wonder about the work involved – I will help you – step-by-step and we can have a mass building party a couple of days before.
Email me for more info (firstname.lastname@example.org). Consider supporting our 91-year-old parade by buying grandstand seats or making a donation (visit: Palisades4th.com).
And if you will be out of town on July 4, you can still make a donation to the parade or sponsor a float.