Saturday, December 08, 2007

Laguna Niguel Holiday Parade

With the threat of rain looming, I made the drive down to Laguna Niguel for the big Holiday Parade, hopeful that the weather would hold out. The Star Wars Alliance (as they called the combination of the 501st, Rebel Legion, and R2 Builders) was billed as the main attraction. Luck was with us, the skies were relatively clear for the entire duration of the parade, and the post-parade photo opportunity.

Max Cervantes' RT-R2 and Chris Romines' R2-A1 joined my R2-D2 for the parade.

I unloaded R2 and set him near the float. Don't leave your droids unattended, the Jawas are all over them in a matter of seconds!

I had a chance to use my parade platform (i.e. my modified cart platform). It was probably overkill, but better safe than sorry.

I am a lifelong Dodgers fan. (If you don't believe me, check this out.) I knew former Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda was going to be one of the Celebrity Grand Marshals, so I kept one eye on R2, and the other watching for Tommy's arrival. As luck would have it, the car he was in parked next to the Droidmobile, so I casually followed his entourage into the VIP room, and managed to get a picture with him. :)

A little while later, we moved the float near the starting line, where I got a picture with R2, and Rion as our C-3PO.

I climbed into the back of Damien Metz' Vader Staff Car that was pulling the float, and snapped pictures around the decals on the tinted windows as best I could.

R2's dome rotation and sound circuit worked perfectly as the float proceeded down the parade route. Members of the 501st and Rebel Legion, along with Obishawn's H-wing, joined us both in front of and behind the float.

Local television covered the parade, I hope to catch one of the rebroadcasts at some point. Unfortunately, their cameras were on the side opposite of where my R2 was located. Them's the breaks.

Kids of all ages lined the parade route. The turnout was much better than I had expected, given the inclement weather. I would estimate a few thousand people were in attendance. I could hear shouts of "R2! R2!" throughout the parade. (No, it wasn't me doing the shouting.)

We took a big group picture after we finished the parade route. I'm somewhere on the right, near R2.

Spectators were allowed to visit with the characters and take pictures after we had parked.

Anthony Forrest, the actor who played the Stormtrooper that stops the Landspeeder and questions Ben and Luke about the droids, was part of our contingent. He kindly posed for a picture with me and R2. Anthony also played Fixer in one of the deleted scenes that takes place at Tosche Station.

After the photos were done, we headed back up to where we parked, so we could unload the droids and head for lunch. Max Cervantes, Chris Romines and I posed with our droids. All in all, it was another fun day! There are a few billion more pictures of this event in this photoset.

R2's schedule is a little light through the end of the year. He will make a visit to my office on the 19th, but that's about it, so things might be quiet here for a little while. Or not. You never know. :)

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