Friday, December 14, 2012

60th Annual Winter Park Christmas Parade

 I wen t sketch the 60th Annual Winter Park Christmas Parade on December first starting at 9AM. Angela Puik, a young UCF photographer wanted to get some photos of me at work. She and her classmate Abu Ngauja are using me as a subject for their final project in their Advertising and Public Media class. They are pitching the idea of doing a video segment for a PBS Television show called, "One". I took a look at the program and it has some compelling local human interest stories. There is no guarantee that a video segment will be produced, but I worked with them to hopefully get them excited about documenting live with art.

Parking in Winter Park that day was impossible, so by the time I got to the parade route on Park Avenue, the first police cars were  flashing their lights to start the parade. Angela texted to see if I was at the parade. I told her I was by the silver statue, and it turned out that she was on the same street corner. I felt a little self conscious as I sketched. I figure for a photographer, watching a sketch develop might be like watching grass grow. When I started adding color, several kids started looking over my shoulder. A mom pulled her son away mortified. "I'm so sorry, Bobby, give the man some space!" Angela said she had what she needed and left before the sketch was finished. I quickly blocked in a policeman on horseback.

I walked up to the corner to watch the parade up close when my sketch was done. More than 100 units participated, including bands, local police and fire departments, marching bands, scouting groups, local dignitaries, and of course Santa Claus. Boy Scout troop 878 was walking by as I muscled my way up for a view. They handed out candy canes for the kids. Unicyclists charged up to kids on the curb seemingly off balance, only to recover at the last moment. Pre-teen cheerleaders shook their pink pom-poms. Behind me, two boys started climbing on the silver sculpture I had sketched. Their father scolded them. They then circled around the art while checking to see if their father was looking. Roses were being handed out and Cloe tried to shyly get one three different times. Her mom was shouting out directions. "To your left! Don't wait! Run over! She only has a few more!" Cloe returned dejected. Sky Craft had a float with a flying saucer and plenty of dried ice smoke. Someone released a candy cane tied to a red helium balloon. It rose up and got tangled in the street light until a breeze knocked it free and it rose up to the clouds. I left to go to Full Sail before the parade was over in order to avoid the mad traffic rush.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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