I love a parade. Like, seriously, I looooooove a parade.
My earliest Thanksgiving memories always included my mother, sister, and I sitting around our television watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. It was the only part of the day that my mom would actually sit down and enjoy herself. She’d even let us sneak early bites of the pies and have some for breakfast.
The three of us would sing along to the Broadway showtunes and Mom would comment on the beautiful flower arrangements surrounding the Today Show hosts. My sister and I were always confused by the “dance troupes,” which led to giggles. Our favorite part? Santa and Mrs. Claus bringing in the Christmas season on the final float of the parade. My mother would lose her mind screaming, “Santa! Santa!” and all three of us would wave to the television.
My sister and I have continued this tradition in the absence of our mother and yes, that includes waving to Santa.
But it's the Saturday after Thanksgiving that brings my favorite parade: The WPXI Holiday Parade. I've watched it every year of my life and was even blessed enough to march in it once as a member of the Montour High School Marching band.
For the longest time, when adults would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I'd answer, “A parade coordinator like Maureen O’Hara’s character in the original Miracle on 34th Street.”
I really did think that would be the perfect job for me. I just had no clue how to achieve such a career.
I mean, I was Marching Band President in 1997 so that seemed like a good resume item, but beyond that, my skill set was limited.
I found my passion for acting and performing at Duquesne University. Suddenly my dreams of becoming a Parade Coordinator vanished and being a featured performer on a float developed.
Look, I’m not delusional. I know that my career has not taken me to Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade float-status, but Pittsburgh: What’s a girl got to do to get on a WPXI Holiday Parade Float?
I mean, I really think my anti-bully band The Josh and Gab Show would ROCK on a float. Our rendition of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” is gut-wrenching, so that won’t work, but we do a mean version of the Kinks’ "Father Christmas.”
Look, if millennials could successfully petition for Betty White to host Saturday Night Live, we can certainly get me on the WPXI Holiday Parade in 2019.
It’s all I want for Christmas (besides peace).