Saturday, we went to the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl parade in downtown Phoenix. Kansas State will play Oregon in the bowl game Jan. 3. The festivities begin with the parade on Saturday and marching band competition on Sunday. Since downtown Phoenix is 32 miles from our resort and we didn't know where to park there, we drove to the Mesa light rail station and took the train downtown.
The parade we saw was very interesting. But all that happened, beginning when we got off the train, was the real treat. It was almost like a late Christmas gift from a Secret Santa. We got off and were trying to decide which way to go (we have never been in downtown Phoenix) when a woman who had also been on the train asked, "Are you going to the parade?" We answered yes and she asked if we would like tickets to sit in the bleachers. We had read about those seats and chose not to spend $25 a person to watch a free parade. But Trisha had extra tickets and offered them to us. We learned that her family had planned to use the tickets to watch one daughter march with the Basha High School band from Chandler. However, her son and husband got tickets to the Fight Hunger Bowl game in San Francisco, where Arizona State University was playing.
Wow! Free seats within a block of the parade starting point, within sight of the reviewing stand! So, we walked with her toward the seats. We came to a large area blocked off and Trish asked one of the Fiesta Bowl officials on a golf cart how we could get around the blockage. He said to hop on the golf cart. Here was our view of the parade route as he drove us to our seats.
Here I am, seated with Trish. Since the parade lasted 2 1/2 hours, we were really glad we were able to sit down.
In case you are more interested in the parade than our good fortune, let me show you some of the things we saw. There were a number of large balloons. I had never seen a parade with balloons before.
There were some really interesting bicycles.
Both high school and college marching bands were there. Participation is by invitation only. This college band was huge.
Trisha's daughter Emily is (I think) the third flute player in on this row.
These biplanes flew over just as the parade began.
One float had blooming saguaros.
Here are some of the Wild Women of the West.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his wife rode on the department's tank.
And these young people were singing about "Standing on the Corner in Winslow, Arizona."
We had a great time at the parade and want to thank Trisha for being our Secret Santa. We bought ourselves another late gift, as well.
We have finally moved into the 21st century with our iPhone 5 smart phone. Let me tell you, the learning curve is a little steep, but it does take good pictures.