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Go To A Parade

This post from Leadstar got me thinking. At a time when they is MORE Animosity,

>>people are craving Hope and Community.

While we see the news, that continues to describe hate, violence, nasty politics, and something way past disregard and disdain,

>>I see social media posts hoping for Empowerment of Women, Equality and Love…

This post from Leadstar hit home. Go to a Parade. I have gone to many and walked in many. Next February I plan to walk in my fourth Lunar New Parade in SF.  Yes four times! Why? I love the understanding I share of a culture that is not my own, I support diversity, and the sheer colorful, exuberant drama of it all makes me happy. I am a part of a community. This is team building.  So try it. Go to a parade this July 4th. We have many Independence Day parades all over the SF Bay Area.

From Leadstar Leadership Moments.

It takes dozens of hours to put together a float.  It’s a pretty involved task:
• Coming up with a concept
• Buying supplies
• Coordinating schedules to construct the float
• Participating in the parade itself, which can be a several-hour event
• Deconstruction
And that is just one float.  Think of the hundreds that are currently being constructed for the 4th of July celebration this week.  Some might say: “Is it worth it?”  As a parade enthusiast, I’ll say “Undoubtedly!”

Floats are the centerpiece of what I love most about a 4th of July parade: Communities coming together in celebration.

I love how dedicated volunteers carefully create the experience, while families dust off their lawn chairs so they can wave their flags while observing whatever rolls down the street – marching bands, color guards, clown cars, horses, beauty queens, and – of course – floats.

I also love what happens around parades – young entrepreneurs set up lemonade stands, volunteer organizations share materials, interest groups ask you to sign petitions, politicians and candidates shake your hand, and restaurants put grills in front of their businesses so they can roast hot dogs and sell them for $2.  (I live in Northern Michigan … hot dogs might be pricier in your neck of the woods.)

There are very few events where communities can attract such diverse crowds, and when – together – people appear, well, happy!    We don’t focus on differences.  Rather, we focus on the event itself, designed purely for our joy.

My ask of you this 4th of July is pretty simple

– find a parade and go to one.  Or, in lieu of a parade, take time to participate in a community-based event. People need people – communities need engagement – and our country needs more people coming together to celebrate its Independence. 

By Angie Morgan, Lead Star Partner Angie Morgan is one of Lead Star’s founders and authors of SPARK.  She’ll be attending two parades this 4th of July – Cheboygan, and Petoskey in Michigan. (She’ll also be walking with her son’s school’s float in the Grand Royal Cherry Parade in Traverse City on Saturday.)    Read more articles by Angie >

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