This marked my 30th event in a year – I’m very happy to have made it to this point, and yesterday, down in Woburn, I was thrilled to be part of the NEG with the Woburn Halloween Parade. This event is becoming our ‘big prop’ event, where we spend a ton of money, countless man-hours and a lot of blood, sweat and tears to come up with something really cool. Last year, we built a Jabba the Hutt Puppet. This year, we build a life-sized Dewback. It came down to the wire, but we got it done, and it looked fantastic.
I was up, as usual, really early for this, and picked up Mike, TK-2084, around 6, before sunrise. The ride down to Woburn, and most of the events, is usually 3+ hours, so this has become a regular thing, especially this past month. We made good time and got down to Woburn before anyone else, around 8:30. Keith, our Grievous was next, and slowly, people trickled in, greetings were exchanged and there was a lot of excitement for the arrival of our Dewback. When Dewie arrived, there was applause, and tinkering as we made last minute adjustments, installed the sound system and got him moving. By ten-thirty or so, a couple people were in armor, and despite the fact that we weren’t marching for a couple hours, I suited up and walked around. We didn’t break up into small groups and walk around too much like we did last year, but we did get another picture in front of a police civil disturbance truck that we found last time.
The parade came up quickly, and before we knew it, we took group pictures and assembled in line and were on our way, where there was a lot of stopping and waiting before we hit the road. The response was fantastic. There were thousands and thousands of people (I’m guessing in the tens of thousands) lining the streets. Kids were in costume, and I noticed a lot of small Darth Vaders, Commander Codys and Captain Rexes, as well as a couple storm troopers and jedi lining the streets. I made sure to salute the Vaders, and there was a lot of slapping kid’s hands and posing for photographs along the way.
Dewie was a hit. We started off the parade right after him, and then moved ahead, where I could see people jumping up and pointing behind us. “Look at that!” “He’s riding a dinosaur!” “Wow!” were some of the things that I heard while walking in front of it, and with a patrol of sand troopers ahead of us, it must have looked absolutely incredible.
It was a good walk, about 3 or so miles, if I recall correctly. I was overheating by the end of it, but I made sure to drink a lot of water, and came out okay. At the end of the parade, we waited around for a free spot in a couple of pickup trucks, and ended up riding back, in armor, across town, to the amusement of a lot of people surrounding us on the streets. We had a worried moment when three police cars pulled up along side us, but that passed when they all saluted and drove on. We got back to the assembly point, desuited, got directions and went to the Burlington mall’s food court for dinner, which was a lot of fun. By six thirty or so, Mike and I headed out, ahead of about half the group, because of the drive, and got back around 9:30. I didn’t get home until around 10:30, because we spent an hour in the computer lab uploading pictures and contemplating large scale projects.