Everyone knows that green goes exceptionally well with red, white, & blue, so it should comes as no surprise that G.A.L.A. won the GRAND PRIZE in Wolfeboro’s Fourth of July Parade! The dreadful heat couldn’t stop an enthusiastic team of GALAvanters march together among cheering crowds down Wolfeboro’s main street. In honoring this year’s “Home Town Proud” theme, GALAvanters held various signs highlighting the many ways Wolfeboro takes steps to be more sustainable, including municipal composting, protecting land for hiking & biking, hosting town cleanup day, taking steps to conserve energy, supporting the wolfeboro farmers’ market, and so much, much more!
Of course most of G.A.L.A.’s props were made with recycled material, as should be expected! Large images of G.A.L.A.’s different Sustain-A-Raiser services (compost bins, rain barrels, solar hot water, etc.) were painted on tall recycled cardboard signs. Even the float itself was towed behind our waste vegetable oil powered truck.
And don’t think for a second we would leave “home” without the infamous bike blender!! Handing out ice cold, pedal-powered fruit smoothies on such a sweltering hot day earned us big points without a doubt. The over-sized globe beach ball added another nice interactive element to the float. When Josh wasn’t trying to balance the world on his finger, many of the children (and adults!) enjoyed bouncing, rolling, or otherwise passing the giant inflatable earth.
So many people made the grand-prize winning float possible. Morgen Belluscio deserves extra praise for making an awesome G.A.L.A. logo stencil for the nifty and thrifty t-shirts. Morgen was part of an ad-hoc parade committee that met several times during the weeks leading up to the 4th to make signs, t-shirts, colorful props, and recruit volunteer marchers.
There were only a couple hiccups to keep our dedicated volunteers on their toes. The first happened right from the gate. As we were about to pull onto main street to line up with the rest of the parade participants we wanted to pull over on the side of the road to do a final check to make sure we had everything – water, yogurt, music, signs, etc. As we did so, however, the sound of crunching wood, breaking branches, and otherwise disaster took our antsy volunteers by surprise.
“Oh no! It’s the clothesline!”
It was easy to forget that we had a make-shift clothesline towering 4 feet above the roof of the cab, which wouldn’t have been a problem if we didn’t decide to pull over under a tree with low hanging branches to catch a little shade. Needless to say, we caught more than a little shade. But these are the exact types of moments when volunteer groups shine, and without missing a beat the group fixed the clothesline and we were on our way, britches blowing freely and proudly on the original solar clothes dryer!
Some volunteers came all the way up from Manchester to march with G.A.L.A. after being connected through the Families in Transition VISTA program. The entire volunteer crew simply radiated the culture of G.A.L.A. – fun, passionate, and dedicated. There was chanting, dancing, smoothie-making, globe bouncing, and singing all contributing to this one large, moving patriotic party. And thank goodness we had a supervisor to keep us all in line!
THANK YOU – to everyone who helped make the float possible, to all those who marched with us, and most importantly, to Harold Chamberlin and the rest of the American Legion and 4th of July volunteers and judges for all their hard work and commitment to organizing such a well run parade. It was a privilege to participate, and a total honor to be awarded First Place!! The picture below is part of the team with the trophy, which really belongs to everyone who is as Home Town Proud as we are, and the entire G.A.L.A. Community for taking the steps to build a more sustainable community!