Sunday, November 29, 2015

Hollywood Christmas Parade 2015

Tonight R5 took part in the annual Hollywood Christmas Parade. I say R5 instead of R2 because I was joined by Roy Powers and his wife with his R2-D2, so I decided to dress my droid as R5-D4 to add a little variety to the parade.

The parade starts on Hollywood Boulevard, in front of the Grauman's Chinese Theater and the El Capitan Theater. We parked in a structure just off of Hollywood Boulevard and joined members of the 501st and Rebel Legion to go over logistics.

Roy, his wife Marie and I grabbed lunch at a nearby food court, where we got a bird's eye view of the start of the parade route. The first entire city block worth of street was covered in red carpet. I was happy about that, as it would help smooth out bumps.

The droids were only to drive the first block of the parade, and then we were to exit to a VIP tent area to take in the rest of the parade from the sidelines, which was fine with me. We did a quick rehearsal to make sure the carpet would be okay, and it was. My droid is in there somewhere.

Getting close to parade time! The Goodyear blimp is in place, and last minute preparations are made.

Bands, floats, and the Star Wars clubs lined up down the block. However, the droids stayed near the starting line, as the plan was for them to be injected into the parade between the 501st and Rebel Legion, when they finally got to the red carpet.

Around 8:00pm the parade started, and bands, floats and cars made their way along the parade route.

A few short minute later, the 501st arrived, and it was time for us to roll!

And off we go!

We drove the route for our one city block, and then we exited to the VIP tent area, and parked. Of course it didn't take long for people to start taking pictures with the droids.

We had better-than-front-row seats, we were still on the red carpet, and were able to watch the rest of the parade from this outstanding vantage point.

Another fun fact, we were facing the El Capitan Theater, where the world premiere of The Force Awakens is scheduled on December 14, 2015. That will be the center of the Star Wars universe soon.

This was the first time I've driven a droid in a parade (vs. having him on a trailer), and it worked out well for the short distance we drove. Maybe we'll do it again next year.

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