Can't Rain On Our Parade

Today I was in an Independence Day Parade!! The short of it is, in the olden days a bunch of people didn't like the way Britain was doing business, so they came here, threw some tea in the ocean, and decided to have a parade! And the tradition continues to this very day (literally)!

Our MINI Cooper car club (founded by yours truly) decided this year to be in the parade. I wasn't sure if we could pull it off in the short time span we had left, but we rallied six owners to the cause and got a slot in the parade fifth from last.

Best part, Becca was in on the action. As I mentioned in a previous post, Chris + Becca = all kinds of random shenanigans. Once she started telling everyone she's going to be in the parade, it snowballed into her becoming Miss MINI Chambana (local slang for Champaign-Urbana). And the unwise move on her part was to relay this information to me. So Miss MINI she became!

We travelled around town on the eve of the parade to find the most ridiculous accessories for her. We scoured the teeny girl stores, the outlets, the department stores, and the Target. We were on a mission, and the mission was so accomplished. I even found some sweet duds for me! Check out the ridiculous photo! Yeah, that's me in a teen girl's cowboy hat and girl glasses from Kohl's... it's all too true! But they were so perfick! And don't worry, that's not Becca's full parade gear -- I'm saving that for the big reveal!

Morning of the parade: First off, in another struggle against Mother Nature, it started raining during the parade line up. So not cool! Our colorful streamers were rendered unusable. How can our princess wave from my sunroof under such unpleasant conditions? Would the parade be a sham with her stuck behind a glass window? Who would appreciate her for all her achievements? Tension mounted.

Then this freaking hoss chugged past us. Not sure why they didn't get the big one instead... Upon further investigation, we found out that it runs on endangered species. It gets 15 miles to the panda. In city, of course. Whilst running over small children.

Another favorite in the parade - Guns Save Life. It's true, people. Somehow, guns save (not lives), but life. Interesting. Of course, these folks have those sing-song signs along the interstate that give Illinois its survivalist charm. And for that we love them (because we're afraid of what they'll do to us otherwise).

We had our pictures taken with celebrities! Becca found a photo op with the Hometown Buffet Bee! LOL -- And I asked Gandolf the Gray to take a moment from his wizardry to smile wide. After he put down his cell phone, we snapped this priceless picture. And I had my suspicions this wizard was really Gandolf the Girl! I love a bearded lady.

Here's our group all prepped for the parade. Thankfully the rain did let up by the start of the parade, so we dodged a bullet. Miss MINI Chambana was able to wave to her fandom in full intended glory! As a side note, Mother Nature and I have since made up.

We had the antenna flags poised, the window paint inked, and other random decorations bedazzling our cars and persons. Now gussied up, Becca takes her post through the sunroof. We were cracking up the whole time! Consult the photo montage:

How freaking silly can you get!? I love it!! Once the parade was under way, we met our spectators who had, by this point, been out in the muggy hot air watching a 2 mile an hour parde for an hour and a half. Some looked beat. But plenty were cheering and waving and looking at us like we were something else.

We basically got two strong reactions. The people who thought we were serious and the people who totally got it. Becca was doing the royal wave, calling out to people "You can be anyone you want" or "This totally isn't real." It was funny to see people wave, read the sign on the car, and THEN actually react. Again, the folks who got it would shout something out, crack up laughing, or give the royal wave back. For some reason, the middle-aged women got the biggest kick out of us. We saw people we knew in the crowd. The looks on their faces were priceless.

At the parade's end, all of us gathered in a parking lot and were reflecting on the fun. This woman and her children come up and say to Becca, "Congratulations! We just came here from Italy. How does one become Miss MINI?" She was so nice and so sincere, and started laughing with us when we told her the genesis of our hair-brained scheme. We kinda loved that people took us seriously.

In all, a most ridiculous out-of-control day of enjoyment was had. And for that, I am thankful.

For more pictures with wonderful captions, check out Becca's flickr site!


Jonathan said...

Love it. Glad you had a good 4th, Army. BTW, you looked great in the juniors clothing!

Anonymous said...

Even though I've never met Becca, I applaud her for her accomplishment becoming Miss Mini Chambana.

Such 4th of July excitement! I had no idea Guns Save Life was in the parade, although I guess no one's going to want to keep them out, with the guns and all.

bkdubya said...

oh yeah...well...well...i'm miss SUV Chambana! Ha!

Allie D. said...

Wutter u sayin? Guns ARE life! ;)

Chris- that looked awesome! And I'm loving the hat and shades, btw. Can you pick me up at the airport wearing those?

Thanks. :)


Miss MINI Chambana said...


I'm impressed at how well you captured the entertainment that was our day. I have been sharing our story to anyone who will listen. I have heard we were seen on TV!!! Perfeck.

Does anyone notice that Chris and I are wearing the same sunglasses, just different colors? Gold for him (natch) and black for me. 12-year-old girl clothes do suit him well...

Aaron said...

I always thought Becca wanted to be Miss Seafair but I guess it never happened for her in Seattle.

Congrats on Miss MINI Chambana!

drew said...

God bless Miss teen mini pants USA. Parades have always had a special place in the hearts of all bregels. Now I know why. We were born to drive slowly, wave, and yell at people.

Thanks for being a good friend to my sis. I miss the hell out of her.

Anonymous said...

Incredible. No word captures this event as well as just plain incredible.