And the award goes to...
Everyone loves a parade! Well, everyone loves going to a parade. Packing up the family in festive attire, finding that absolutely perfect spot along the parade route, grasping at candy tossed from friendly floats, and giving your best “ooh” and “ahh” at your favorites are all part of the perfect parade experience. On the other hand, creating the perfect float is an entirely different matter, and for Community Lutheran Church - San Marcos, it has been quite the adventure.
In December of 2011, we participated in our first City of San Marcos Holiday Parade and introduced ourselves to the community. CLC Member Dan Huhn was in the process of designing the nativity scene when he realized his trailer had been stolen from its storage lot! We scrambled to find a replacement and fortunately Don Lundberg offered his trailer. Our launch team gathered on a beautiful December Saturday morning to decorate and prepare for our first parade. Despite the initial hiccup of losing a trailer, it was a success! We handed out over 1000 postcards inviting people to attend our Launch Day service on January 15th, 2011 in which we had over 150 people in attendance.
This year, we decided get an earlier start. Once again, Don Lundberg offered his trailer and Paul Ornelas volunteered to build the structure for the nativity float. Paul, who designed and built our beautiful altar at our San Marcos Campus, had intricate plans for this nativity scene. What Paul didn’t realize is that his time to work would be cut short because he was called out to the East Coast to help with Hurricane Sandy relief as an insurance adjustor. Paul worked tirelessly, completing as much as he could before he left. With finishing touches still needed, Dick Anderson, who built the altar, baptismal font, pulpit and lectern at our Escondido Campus, stepped up quickly to paint, finish, and weave palm fronds onto the top completing the roof of the stable.
On the day of the parade, Mr. Lundberg, who also offered to drive the float in the parade, began making his way to the beginning of the parade route at Palomar College in San Marcos, nativity scene in tow. However, with all of the confusing entrances into the campus, Don found himself lost in one of the many parking lots. With just minutes to spare before the judging of the floats, Don and the float found the rest of our group and judging commenced. Along the two mile parade route, our members were in costume singing Christmas carols on the nativity float and passing out candy and 1,000 postcards along the route.
After all we had gone through, you can imagine our surprise and joy when we were awarded with the Mayor’s Trophy! The inscription on the trophy read “Best Non-Professionally Constructed Float”, although, with the fine craftsmanship, the beautifully animals painted by Jenna Lundberg, and all the work that had gone into decorations and costumes, you couldn’t tell our float was not “Professionally Constructed”.
All the challenges we faced made receiving the award that much sweeter. Our church made it in the newspaper with a picture of Susan Onsgard passing out candy. We even saw mention of our float on facebook by someone who has never been to our church. Perhaps the greatest reward, though (yes, even greater than the trophy) was seeing our thirty volunteers come together to invite our neighbors to worship the Newborn King Jesus. Who knows what this year will bring?