(Five tips for alumni who want to march in next year’s parade!)
Left to right in the image above: Beth Van Boxtel (’02), Leslie Kulchin Saldana (’84), Xochitl Cruz (’99), Kurt Bryson (’78), Stacey Sieber (’89), Kevin Taylor (’84), Rick Hall (’81), Nanette Salud Clippinger (’84), Lydell Fleming (’86), Berni Mejia Amador (’76), Gabbi Curtis Wren (’08), Dana Scritchfield Jennings (’75), Yesenia Arvizu (’07), Cindy Korwin Thorpe (’65), Diane Darrough Burton (’62), and Ken Harrison (’73). Not shown: Sandra Thomas (’62) (How did we miss you, Sandy?) and Beth’s dad, Ron Van Boxtel, who was with us in spirit as he got stuck in the Encinitas traffic.
We hope to do this every year from now on! If you want to be included, stay on our mailing list. If you want a friend to get on the mailing list, send them this link: http://oi.vresp.com/?fid=b2a4d9e152.. Or just email me!
Tip No. 1: Get there EARLY and watch out where you park! (Better yet, take a shuttle!)
Our alumni group was the guest of the San Dieguito High School Academy Band, so we were to meet up with them at a parking lot in downtown Encinitas at 4pm. (If you don’t get into Encinitas by 4pm, you won’t get into Encinitas, I think.)
On my way in I noticed that tow trucks were EVERYWHERE. Be very careful where you park, because you will be towed if you have parked in a parade staging area! It’s best to take one of the shuttles that run every 20 minutes from the locations set up by the City of Encinitas.
Tip No. 2: Look for CLASSMATES
It’s surprising how many alumni are participating in the parade. Rob Machado (’91) was the 2016 Grand Marshall. Carolyn Roy Cope (’68) and Richard Hauk (’66) were announcers. Jim and Janie King (’44 and ’47) drove their classic car. Earl Flores, Jr. (’95) and his family had their own parade entry, too. This list is endless!
And when I stopped by the American Legion I found Susan Ash Bruun (’61) and Cynthia Daniel (’63) getting the Legion’s parade entry ready!
Susan is the owner of Baker Iron Works and the savior of our Metal Mustang. She was also driving the American Legion’s float on her flatbed truck, the same truck that has transported our Metal Mustang back and forth to downtown San Diego as she arranged for the marine coating.
Now her truck was decorated for the parade with photos taken by Cynthia in New Orleans, when she visited the World War II Museum in that city.
Tip No. 3: Enjoy yourself while you wait! Because you ARE going to wait.
Parade participants should get into the downtown area at least by 4 pm, but then the parade doesn’t start until 5:30 pm. You can do like Cindy, Rick, Berni, Xochitl and I did: wait with the kids and watch all the excitement as parade entries readied themselves around us.
Or you could do like Diane Darrough Burton and Sandra Thomas (’62), Lydell Fleming (’86) and Kurt Bryson (’78) did: they also came early but took off to look around. There’s lots to see: everybody prepping their floats, and then there’s the tree-lighting ceremony at 5pm.
Diane and Sandy ate dinner at a Mexican restaurant, and Lydell and Kurt reported that the establishment they visited was nearly empty, so for next year’s event I might ask alumni to meet at one of the local restaurants or bars instead of the parking lot. We shall see.
All around us parade entries were getting ready to show off, it was quite exciting and entertaining. The Miracosta College band parked across the street from us and played several pieces.
Tip No. 4: Dress WARMLY and show your Mustang spirit!
It was cold! We all had our sweaters and jackets — all of us had some kind of holiday wear — but some of us had Mustang spiritwear, too. Berni Amador showed us a jacket she’s had for years and years, and it still looks like new! It’s a San Dieguito baseball jacket she intended to wear while marching.
Leslie Kulchin Saldana (’84) showed up in style with her jacket and cheerleading megaphone! Leslie is the Executive Director of the SDA Foundation, the nonprofit supporting our Alumni Association. She’s also the parent of 3 members of the Class of ’16!
Tip No. 5: HAVE FUN!
At 5:30pm we moved down the street to the official staging point, where we had to wait for our turn to start. The kids were playing their piece (“The Safety Dance”, so much fun!) and we practiced marching behind them.
The parade entries that were listed ahead of us rolled by, giving us our very own sneak preview of the parade.
Finally it was our turn to enter the parade flow and it was a hoot: marching behind the band as it played “The Safety Dance”, while members of the SDA Surf Team darted in and out like Santa’s athletic elves. What a blast!
Alumni waved their signs showing their class years and people watching the parade would call out their years!
Next year be sure to come with us. I’d like to see as many years as we can fit in! If we have enough, we might create our own parade entry. Sign up with me here: Yes, I want to march in the 2017 Holiday Parade! Or just sign up for our mailing list!