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Another successful parade

Another successful parade Another successful parade


For the third straight year I took part in the famous Abbotsford Christmas Parade on Saturday. My legs are still paying the price for my holiday enthusiasm, but it was well worth it.

It helped that the weather was sooooo much better than last year’s parade. Last year a blizzard brought inches of snow and frigid temps through central Wisconsin. It also made for tough conditions for crowds to enjoy the sights and sounds of the parade.

This year the temperatures were practically balmy, hovering near the lower thirties, and the roads relatively clear, making it easy to walk and push floats. Which, let me tell you, is not easy in a costume and mask and trying to hug a toddler while sidestepping a patch of snow and ice.

If you’re wondering what character I played over the weekend, you need look no further than the picture above my column.

Yup, that’s me, hamming it up as Donald Duck. This year marks the third time I’ve played Donald Duck, and like the two previous years, I threw myself into my character. So much so that I fell behind my fellow Disney cohorts, Mickey, Minnie and Daisy Duck.

As I made my way through Abbotsford I heard a steady cry of “Donald! Donald!” Being one who aims to please, I could not ignore the delighted squeals of children as they saw one of their favorite characters approach them.

I hugged, high-fived and took pictures with multiple children — and a few adults. My legs paid a heavy price, bounding left and right to high-five a child who wanted to see a cartoon come to life.

I had to get really low to hug some of the toddlers, who stood smaller than a fire hydrant, and in some cases, it was just easier to pick up a kid in my arms and have mom or dad snap a photo.

Hopefully, I inhabited the spirit of Donald Duck and Christmas, and the multitude of people who came out to see a spectacle unlike any other in the state enjoyed their time. It certainly seemed that way to me, with people laughing and taking photos.

My legs were sore the next day, so I knew that at the very least I had put in a good workout. Which also tells me I need to spend more time at the gym so next year my legs won’t feel like they are on fire as the lactic acid burns through them.

But it was all for a good cause and in the name of good, clean fun. It’s nice to know that I was able to bring a smile to kids that I high- M USINGS AND G RUMBLINGS

fived, and that I maybe helped make some memories for others.

Maybe that’s the best part of the parade and the best part of the holidays — we spend it with the ones we love, making memories.

Moments like the Abbotsford Christmas Parade are brief things. They are here one day, gone the next. But that’s why we have them, to break things up. And who doesn’t want to hang out with a giant duck?