I love a parade

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What are the elements of a great holiday parade? In my mind a great parade includes dazzling dancers, magnificent marching bands, exciting equestrian teams, fanciful floats and imaginative inflatable balloons, plus cartoon characters and clowns, clowns, clowns.

Put all this together and you have the 22nd Capital One Bank Adolphus Children’s Parade. The 2009 edition of the parade is set for Saturday, Dec. 5, beginning at 10 a.m. along the streets of downtown Dallas.

In fact, the parade has become known as the “Miracle on Commerce Street” for its magical ability to combine a holiday kick-off, delighted families and significant fund-raising for Children’s Medical Center.

This year, the parade will feature Selena Gomez, recording artist and the star of Disney’s “Wizards of Waverly Place,” who will be visiting her hometown to make a guest appearance in the parade.

The streets fill up early. Some people even stay overnight to get the best seats. So, if you’re planning to attend, I’d recommend you get there by 7 a.m. because it’s standing room only and the crowds are rows deep by parade time.

I have a great job for the parade. I accompany the photographer from Children’s Medical Center from the pre-dawn hours right up until the parade starts. That means I see all the behind the scenes looks at the marching bands and dancers, the antics of clowns, the clip-clop of horses’ hooves, and a dazzling display of floats and giant inflatable balloons. It’s a parade lover’s dream come true. Plus, I get to drive a golf cart on the city streets. Who could ask for anything more?

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