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WI - Racine - 4th of July Parade 7-4-2009

Postby Blue » Sat Aug 01, 2009 11:04 pm

Mission Report: July 4, 2009

Racine 4th Fest Independence Day Parade
Racine, WI


Bright and early on the morning of Saturday, July 4th, members of the Midwest Garrison, Midwest Base, family and friends arrived at Azarian Marina in Racine to suit up and board the 2009 501st – Midwest Garrison float, parade entry number 40.

The 2009 float had an Endor theme, and was made to look like the Forest Moon of Endor complete with Ewoks swinging from trees and a few speeder bikes. The float was designed by Wisconsin Squad member, Jerry Triebler (DZ 5591) who has designed the our parade floats for the last 3 years. Many members worked for about a month under Jerry’s direction to bring his drawing to life.

At 7:30 AM we left the boat barn and started our journey to the parade route, by 8 AM we were in line for our float to be judged by the 4 person panel. After driving through the narrow street (and narrowly avoiding a collision between a speeder bike and a car) we arrived at our designated waiting spot, where we would wait for approximately 90 minutes until it was our turn to step up to the line and take our position in the parade.

While we were waiting our turn, a few members of the the parade committee approached our float with some wonderful news. Our float had won the Charles Arnold award, the top award in the Non-Industrial division. The Charles Arnold award is named for one of Racine’s greatest float builders, who built nearly every parade float for any parade in Racine between the years 1941 – 1970. This award is truly a great honor to receive, and the first time one of Jerry’s floats has received this particular award.

Around 10 AM, we were ready to make our way to the starting line. New member Andrew Carver along with Kyle Dorethy volunteered to walk the 3 mile parade route carrying the banner announcing our award. The familiar music made up of the Star Wars theme, Augie’s Great Municipal Band, and a mix of the original and new Ewok Celebrations started and we were off. The parade route was crowded with around 80,000 people who were clapping and cheering as we passed. Once in a while a fan would come up to the float to snap a picture or give a high five. With the various cast of characters that were in attendance, there was a favorite
character for every excited fan.

By noon we were back at the boat barn, de-suited and ready for some good socialization time. Those could stay were invited to Jerry’s home for an old fashioned 4th of July cookout. A great time was had by all who attended.

I would like to send out a huge thank you to everyone who volunteered their time and talents to help us with our float. Thank you to Steve, who was our truck driver, who volunteered his time and truck. Thanks to Diamond Transportation for the use of the trailer, and Azarian Marina for the use of the boat barn. Thanks to Fred Johnson and Music Go Round of Kenosha, WI for the use of the sound equipment. And thanks to all the members who trooped the parade. The members are what truly bring life to the float. Without all this help, this would not have been possible.

Trent Thornton (CC585) – Clone Commander Devis
Sara Zeman (SL3881) – Mara Jade
Geoff Piefer (TB4813) – Bikerscout
Anderw Carver (IC4724)– Crewman
Kerri Koeja (TB6629) – Bikerscout
Beth Johnson (TB5852)– Bikerscout
Bob Merrit (TK549)– Officer
Kyle Dorethy – Crewman
Jerry Triebler (DZ5591) – Gamorinan Garud
Bob Kohn (SoloYT1300)– Chewbacca
Kevin Koceja (BH6628)– Boba Fett
Shaun Kempf (BH2049) – Jango Fett
Phil Zeman (CT2720) – Clone Trooper
Joe Rivera (CC3166)– Captain Rex
Alan Stafford – Obi-wan Kenobi
Kaitlyn Thornton – Bikerscout
Cheryl Whittaker (TB3127)– Bikerscout
Gina M (DestinyFroste) – Jedi
Brian Hagerstrand (DZ937) - Tusken
Brian’s Wife and children – Jedi
Sydney & Austin Koceja – Jawa
Beret B Kohn (LeiaYT1300)– Princess Leia Organa
Fred Johnson - Sound Technician
Chris Jaskie (SL8251) – Darth Vader
Chris Hanson – photos and costume support
Mike Washko (TK585) – Float Building

Photos can be found at the following: ... ns/Racine/ ... de%202009/ ... f%20july_/ ... e/?start=0 ... ?start=all
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Postby Marvinrobot » Sun Aug 02, 2009 7:42 am

That was awesome...great float!!!
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