My friend, David, is in grad school at SAIC and his MFA project is going to be about his hometown of Mission, Tx. Mission is in the Rio Grande valley and produces a lot of citrus and every year they have a citrus fiesta parade. So, this weekend, Rachel, Jane and I drove down to help with David's parade float. His goal was a build an 8-foot tall accordion, a bandstand, a light-up dance floor and a planter with cactus in it. When we arrived late Thursday night, only the bellows of the accordion were on the float.
All day Saturday we worked on the float. 14 hours of manual labor is hard. The coolest thing I got to do was play with a blow torch to burn the spikes off of the cactus.
When we ran out of time, the accordion and bandstand were done. We also made an awesome conjunto sign and decorated the float itself. There were also awesome pinatas that looked like David and Jane.
Everyone that worked on the float signed the back.
The theme of the float was conjunto music which comes from the valley and David has been kind of obsessed with lately. David had arranged for a band of old men to play on the float. The morning of the parade though, we found out that one of them had been taken to the emergency room. So, he called the Conjunto hall of fame and got a 17 year old girl who is pretty well known in that scene. She came at the last minute with her bajo sexto player. Gloria Jean and Raymond were awesome!
LOTS of people came out to the parade. Here are some of them.
There were suppose to be dancers on the float, but they also bailed. David, Jane, Rachel and I wound up on the float during the parade. It was really fun. :)