When was the last time you watched a Thanksgiving parade and said, “WOW! That was incredible! I will remember this for years to come!”
Never. Because they are usually super boring, completely forgettable and downright horrible.
It is something to fall back asleep to after a nice, big Thanksgiving breakfast. (You know, to stretch your stomach out for the meal to come…) It’s something to watch instead of regularly-scheduled weekday programming. (Most likely some cartoon that is basically just characters screaming for 30 minutes, or a horribly inaccurate depiction of the first Thanksgiving. ALIENS!)
Why has this parade not evolved into the digital world? Why has it not be updated to meet the stimulation standards of today’s youth? Kids don’t think giant balloons are cool anymore – not since 1965. They also don’t care about 10 different marching bands who all look and sound the same. Thanksgiving parades everywhere need a proper makeover.
What steps can parade people take? (Parade People: premiering on History Channel next fall…)
1. The Music
Holy cow, the music is almost as bad as the visual aspect. Christmas music being played with the enthusiasm of a wet washcloth is not doing the trick. These parades need a headliner. How about Trans Siberian Orchestra? How about Guns and Roses get together and play just Christmas music? How about Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff come out and blow people’s minds? Anything would be better than “Frosty the Snowman” – that song is so stupid it hurts. We need pyrotechnics, lights, HUGE speakers and some style for crying out loud.
“Here comes Santa kids! He’s moving about 2 mph on that trailer being pulled by a truck!” No more. From now on, Santa needs to come down from the heavens. Santa will be air-dropped from a plane… wait, no… a chopper. His parachute is released so attendees can read the message, “Scrooges Stink” as he empties a bag filled with holiday coupons over the crowd. He will land on a giant candy-cane swirled target laid out on the street and say, “Who’s ready to kick some ass this Christmas?!” Fire will erupt. Cue Guns and Roses… and people crying… from the pure unadulterated awesomeness.
3. Attendee Experience
While we are changing the parade, we should make some revisions to the experience we as attendees are sure to have. Why should we just have to stand there? Let’s get some movement people! Why isn’t everyone handed a big foam candy cane to wave, or a Santa hat? We need chants! We need live Twitter suggestions coming in. The parade viewing process needs to be transformed into a party atmosphere.
Here’s an example: One float is actually a karaoke stage. Everyone can sign up and singers are chosen at random. When your name is called, you go up onto the stage and start singing. If you stink – the parade-goers boo you and you are pulled offstage (completely humiliating you in front of the entire community)! If you’re good they cheer. That would be amazing.
Write a letter to your community officials. Tell them you’ve had enough. It’s time to make Thanksgiving cool again, rather than skip over it from Halloween to Christmas. The tradition of the Thanksgiving Day parade must be upheld… by including face-melting guitar solos, a bad ass sky-diving Santa Claus and a Woodstock-like crowd watching it happen.