Monday, October 26, 2009

Festival of Lights Bike Float & Drill Team Practice, Nov 7th

The PGE Festival of Lights Holiday Parade lights up on Saturday, December 12. It's the 20th anniversary of the parade, and this year's theme is "Absolutely Glowing."

Usually the "floats" are motorized. This year, we have a non-motorized alternative: Join the bicycling brigade! Come one, come all!

Parade float & drill team organizers Robert, Debbie, Beth, and Mary sent out this notice:

How long since you've been in a parade, instead of watching from the curb? How long since you've BIKED in a parade? Here's your chance to remedy that! Coming up on December 12 - the Salem Bike Club's* first annual entry in the Festival of Lights Holiday Parade. All you need is some lights for your bike, warm clothes, helmet and a sense of fun.

We're aiming for a big turnout - 50 or more cyclists would be great! Young (if under 16, with parents), medium or experienced; unicycle, bicycle or tandem - it all works. And if you have a bike trailer, load up your young kids, your dog, Christmas tree, a reindeer, or snowman (parade rules say no Santas other than the official one). Prizes are given for the best float in various categories, so unleash your creative spirit!

Parade particulars:
Saturday, December 12
Meet at the Red Lot** at 5:00 p.m. for sign-in and last-minute practice (across from McDonald's at Center and Capitol Streets N.E.)
Parade starts at 6:30 p.m.
Ride Leader: Robert Fox
(e-mail Robert with any questions:

Be a part of the 20th anniversary of the largest lighted nighttime holiday parade west of the Mississippi, and start a new tradition with the bike club!

First practice on Saturday, Nov 7th:
We'll be doing some very simple drill team-type maneuvers along the parade route. A planning and practice session is set for Saturday, November 7 at 5:00 p.m. at the Pringle Creek Community (from Madrona Ave. S.E., turn south on Fairview Industrial Way, then after .2 mile, turn right on Strong Road S.E., and about .2 mile further turn right at the entrance of the development). Bring your bike and join the group at the intersection of Village Center Drive and Audubon Avenue.

You can join the group on parade day even if you don't make it to the November 7 session, but a little practice will make us more impressive at the parade itself.
Please come out and show Salem how much fun bicycling can be!

Special bonus points for cool lighting systems like hokey spokes or other "absolutely extravagant" carnival lights! (There are rumors of special sessions to learn how to rewire xmas light strands for 6v batteries!)

update (11/11): Thanks to the Salem Bicycle Club! They have very graciously stepped up to sponsor the entirety of the parade entry!

* You don't have to be a member of the Salem Bicycle Club to ride in the parade!

**Here's a location map for the Red Lot.

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