Let’s talk about the word “eclectic.” According to dictionary.com, it means “deriving ideas, style, or taste from a broad and divers range of sources.”
I think the Starlight Parade qualified as eclectic.
- Semi Trucks
- Santas on Harleys
- Vintage VWs
- Marching Band
- Lawnmower racing team
- Flame twirlers
- Lighted twirlers
- Roller derby-ers
- Military Color Guard
- Antique Fire Engine
- Rescued Dogs
- WWII Duck
- Corvette collection
- Bread mascot
- Double-decker London tour bus
- Soccer players
- Chinese dragon
- Baseball mascots
- Soccer mascots
- Girl scouts
- Hula hoopers
Oh, and, how could I forget:
- The cast of all 6 Star Wars episodes.
Now that I think about it, just the Star Wars characters decked out in Christmas decorations alone was probably enough to qualify for “eclectic” status.
“Eclectic” has sometimes been used as a polite way of saying “messy,” “cluttered,” or even, “no taste.” But sometimes being eclectic works quite well.
In the case of the Starlight Parade, all divergent themes were tied together by the overarching theme of Christmas. As such, it kept the interest going for the full hour the parade lasted. You just never knew what was coming next.
And, yes, we saw the lawnmowers and VWs and cheerleaders in the Mainx24 parade, but that was during the day. See the difference? This time it was dark. And they were wearing lights. Completely different effect.
I was slightly disappointed with the Star Wars group, I must admit. I kept waiting for Yoda to pop up with a lightsaber and start flipping around while fighting Count Dooku. If Yoda was there, he was quietly meditating behind so many Christmas decorations I couldn’t see him.
The Star Wars characters were courtesy of two local chapters of a national organization of Star Wars costumers. One is called Rebel Legion. These folks are serious about dressing like the heroes of the Star Wars episodes. If you want to dress like a villain, however, you have to join the Fighting 501st Legion instead.
This is a hobby I’ve never considered. Tutorials on their website teach how to create authentic costumes. They include advise on Wookiee hair punching (which confused me until I saw a photo of a mask with hair being punched through it to create a hairy face), making your own blood stripes (which turn out to be red bars sewn on a sleeve), and creating a realistic lip curl (a mechanism to get a Wookie mask to snarl when roaring).
I don’t see myself turning into a costumer in the near (or distant) future, but the diversity of interests in this world is pretty amazing. What really amazes me is these folks spend a lot of time and money creating these costumes all for the purpose of appearing at charitable and community events in exchange for smiles.
Much like the car decorating hobby, I don’t quite get it, but I appreciate the effort at creating joy.