Parading Peeps

The Making of a Solstice Float

Here,” said Robby Robbins, The Indy’s director of new media, handing me a Styro-foam cutout in the shape of an enormous bone along with what appeared to be an overgrown cheese grater, “shape this.”

No, this isn’t a scene out of some sort of freaky, Robitussin-enhanced dream-which is not to say this is the kind of thing I dream about when I’ve taken too much cough medicine. This exchange went down in broad daylight last Saturday afternoon in a parking lot on the corner of Garden and Ortega streets without the aid of any mind-altering substance, cough suppressant or otherwise. I was simply putting in my time working on The Indy’s float for this year’s star-themed Summer Solstice Parade. And while I can’t say whether my assigned task had more to do with the fact that my reputation as an expert bone-handler had preceded me than with my coworkers’ entirely legitimate fears of Shannon Bearing Power Tools, I was more than happy to get to work.

Yep, this year, for the first time ever, The Indy will be represented during S.B.’s favorite art-for-art’s-sake celebration. And with the assistance of our amazingly talented experts-artist Ann Chevrefils and builder Scott Delarvin-and the elbow grease of our always-willing-to-get-creative (and dirty) staff, we’re well on our way to putting together a jaw-dropper of a float.

While Summer Solstice’s naked days may have been strictly relegated to the past, its mystique lives on-after all, any occasion that offers an excuse for adults to play with the creative abandon of children, to parade our beglittered selves through our city’s main drag before landing at the park for an afternoon of dancing, drinking, and otherwise getting loose will never lose its appeal. And the prep is half the fun: I mean, really, what’s a better way to spend a sunny Saturday in early June than with a group of coworkers, copious amounts of paint, power tools, Styrofoam, and a band of accordion players ripping repeatedly through every tune that involves the word “star”? Wait, don’t answer that.

Regardless, I discovered that an afternoon of sunshine, physical labor, and a steady stream of bone jokes and paint fumes is the perfect cure for the trappings of life among the grown-ups. Now, if I could just get “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” out of my head.


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