Sunday, 4 September 2016
A Soggy Carnival
Goodness me! September already, how time flies! Today I am recovering after being in the Uckfield Carnival yesterday. It was such a looooong day!! I have probably mentioned before that this year I was in charge of organising the District float- from deciding the theme, designing the decorations, sourcing the materials, organising craft days, selecting the music, drawing diagrams for the lovely Uckfield Rotary Club who lend us the float, and bringing it all together on the day..... It was a lot to do and has been on my mind for months so it seems a little odd to not have to think about it any more.
During the week I was painting the big green backgrounds of our Jungle/Rainforest. One side of the float was Jungle themed and the other Rainforest, and we had an enormous banner from Waitrose and some large cardboard rectangles from work on which to glue the paper plate monkeys, water droplets and parrots.
My absolute favourite things on the float were the large cardboard animals- you can see in the above photo how big they were against my feet. The eyes on the Slow Loris actually followed you around the room, so cute.
Yesterday morning dawned bright, sunny and clear and I was at the Guide hall nice and early to begin gluing on the letters and animals ready for when the float arrived. I did have a couple of helpers too who started making the paper chains and provided entertainment whilst we worked.
When our float turned up, accompanied by several Rotary men, it all went up really quickly. The banners and cardboard were attached using cable ties, and we added some paper leaves with staples and glue- what we would have done before cable ties were invented I have no idea!! We did have to rescue a few parrots and water droplets as the float in our imagination was larger than in reality (we really should measure for next time) and the large cardboard pieces were overlapping a little bit. But after a slight reshuffle we were back in business!
The dangling lights were something new this year and the reason why I had to send off diagrams to the RC. The idea was to loop paper chains and streamers over these higher lights once we got to the starting place to create a more drippy, jungly feel.
The weather stayed dry all the way up to the drive down to the starting position of the carnival when it started to pour down!! We still had quite a good turn out of girls and one of my lovely Guide mums brought all of her face paints and the girls had their faces painted. The costumes were very easy- animal onsies- and the faces were painted to match! We had lots of little tigers, monkeys, zebras and even a crocodile! The Leaders were dressed as explorers and our hats kept most of the rain from our faces but we were all absolutely soaked and were seriously considering pulling out and taking the girls back to the hall to dry out and get warm. The girls, however, had other ideas and pretty much insisted that we stay and join the procession which we did. By the time we had finished the circuit about two hours later my poor float had completely disintegrated and the animals fallen apart.
We did win 1st Place in the Youth Organisation category though, and also the Youth Shield which was pretty good going!! I suppose really that the weather added an element of the rainforest I hadn't thought much about (or wanted)- actual rain!!! Very realistic.