Note From Jon


Monday, November 3, 2008

Tour the Grape Life

Despite the shouts of the crowd, I was not the Fruit of the Loom guy in the Leesburg Halloween Parade. I was “Chardonnay”, the bunch of green grapes, promoting Virginia Wine Adventures, the wine touring company started by Darren’s sister Deidra. In addition to playing the critical designated driver role, Deidra’s company provides gourmet lunches and knowledgeable guides of the Virginia wineries that you visit on the tours. While I didn’t do as well promoting the company as my compatriot “Merlot” did (according to him), I definitely had fun and like to think I warmed up the crowd for Darren’s—I mean Merlot’s—pitch that followed. I couldn’t get over how excited the kids were to get a “High Four”—our giant white cartoon gloves only have four fingers—from an over-sized bunch of grapes. That was definitely the highlight of the experience for me, although Merlot and I doing the Do-Si-Do dance with our lovely wine bottle girlfriends was definitely up there… as was literally running several hundred yards to close down the gap that had formed between the floats as we got carried away high-fouring the crowd (try to imagine a man running up the street, balloon-sized grapes bouncing all over the place, and giant white cartoon hands flailing wildly—you can see why the “Fruit of the Loom” comment was made quite a bit!).

Here are some Notes to Jon (well actually to Deidra) for next year’s parade:

  • Keep a wine bottle with each grape bunch to cut down on the Fruit of the Loom confusion.
  • Have one person giving out candy on each side of the street to make sure the candy lasts all the way to the end of the parade—the kids at the end looked like they were ready to riot after all the floats were out of candy by that point.
  • More giant white hands. Those were great and really engaged the crowd when we were over interacting with the kids.
  • Purple and green afro wigs for the grapes, and corresponding light-up sunglasses.
  • Try to get behind other floats with walkers. We were all behind driving floats which led to the huge gaps when we tried to walk and interact with the crowd.
  • Go early to Idle Park and bring chairs to relax and tailgate while waiting for the parade to get under way.

No comments: