We’ve created a few mini parades since the pandemic started. They involved community collaboration of some kind and employed puppets, lanterns, and music. The first parade was with the Asheville Mardi Gras at the Givens Retirement Estate. It was a perfect fall day and the old folks loved our giant caterpillar (paper mache and grocery bags). The second was a lantern parade (tracing and tissue paper, paste, over balloons, with LEDs) at dusk, with live tuba and trumpet, down Biltmore Ave and over to the LEAF Global Arts stage. Then was a Holiday themed mini parade (stilt walking elf, elephant elf, the Grinch) around the parking lots of Spruce Hill Apartments in East Asheville, joined by the Brass Your Heart Band. Most recently we did a lantern making workshop and parade at the Southside community garden for the Spring Equinox.
We are all volunteers. Our payment is in the form of the camaraderie of creative problem solving while making cool stuff together to share with the community. That was challenged by the pandemic and shutdown in many ways: maintaining COVID protocols between the artists and with the public, organizing everything online, trying to regain our synergy and momentum after much disruption (we even had to move our studio in the middle of it). But the mini parades were healing and nourishing for us, the viewers seemed to be delighted and appreciative.