Grape & Wine Parade

Discussion in 'Niagara, ON' started by Yebbed-Crage, Jul 11, 2007.

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  1. YoungJediNiagara RSA Emeritus FF Canada

    Member Since:
    Mar 23, 2001
    star 4
    Parade Update: (this will address the "water" question also.)

    I just wanted to let everyone know that there are a few new items that have come up in the last few days regarding the G&W Parade and our involvement.

    - As a testament of the kind of parade officials that we have to deal with this year; we just received, today, our letter of acceptance into this year?s parade. This was something that we should have had knowledge of weeks ago. Luckily we just assumed we were in and we went ahead with planning.

    - We were also told that we need to make everyone aware of the rules and standards for this year?s parade. I will scan the ?rules? and post them on the www.facebook.com YJN page. The one rule that really affects us is the one about our ?support-walkers?, simply...we can?t have any. The parade does not want to see anyone not in costume walking in the parade. So if you have a place to store water in your costume, please do so.

    - I have a large issue with one specification that the parade officials are asking for this year. The parade asks that, ?All entries must be delivered to the marshalling area by 9:00am parade day.? Well that will not happen! I have no intention of asking anyone to get suited up and then stand around for 2 hours before the start of the parade. Deb or I will go down and get our place number just like previous years and the rest of the group will be called down just prior to the start of the parade. If the parade official do not like this?..to bad.

    - We were also called by the parade today and asked if our group would like to be ?judged?. We said yes, but we soon found out that the judging will take place PRIOR to the parade even starting, instead of during the parade as in previous years. The judging will be at 9:00am at the marshalling area, but as I stated in the above point I have no intention of asking anyone to be there 2 hours before the parade starts, dressed in full costume.

    As a side note...we also got a phone call from the St. Catharines Standard. Apparently the parade officials/organizers have been getting a great deal of negative feedback from other former parade entrants. The Standard has received word of the complaints and they are going to be addressing some of the issues in an article that will be published in tomorrow?s paper.
    Debby was also asked about a number of complaints that many other entrants had brought up and that we also share. And she was also asked to deny or confirm some of the ?new rules? that the parade officials have implemented this year. And Deb took the time to bring up many of the points and concerns that were expressed in this forum.
    Just to let you know, Deb also found out that MANY of the other groups that were in the parade in previous years have elected to walk away from the parade all together. We are not the only ones that have been left will ill feelings.

    Please post your thoughts.
  2. grey_starr Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 22, 2004
    star 4
    This should be interesting...
  3. beezel26 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2003
    star 7
    this ticks me off very much.

    edit by CrazyMike : inappropiate language
  4. jeigh Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 21, 2002
    star 3
    chris, I used to march in a drum corps, and any bands coming out are going to have their "support walkers" (instructors and chaperones) out with their members dolling out gatorade & water regardless of what the organizers want. I strongly recommend you ignore this requirement. Dehydration is not a pretty thing.
  5. grey_starr Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 22, 2004
    star 4
    actually... having caretakers is handy... I had costume malfunctions last year and the help was greatly apreciated! and it is a safety requirement really...
  6. Doc_Bev Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2003
    star 5
    Please do continue to cross post from your off-FanForce site as this is the main way other participating chapters can/should get information. I would be especially interested in the "Rules" so as to make sure us non-YJN folks are in compliance.

    Maybe we can bend the rules on the "support" by having handlers dress in flannel shirts and jeans and call them all George Lucas. ;) Seriously though, it is potentially hazardous to NOT have handlers especially since there's no truck to rest on or rehydrate along route. Depending on the weather we could have more "casulties" than in previous years and really rely on the handlers to escort the costumer back to safety.

    I would vote no to the judging for the reasons you sited. Just say you changed your mind as you were unaware of the timing of the judging when you first replied "yes".

    Indeed interesting to read that the newspaper will be doing an article on the negative vibes surrounding the parade this year. I'm curious how things will go next year between the article, all these new rules and the multiple entries disillusioned by the parade committee.

    ~Doc_Bev
  7. YoungJediNiagara RSA Emeritus FF Canada

    Member Since:
    Mar 23, 2001
    star 4
    I'll quote from the "rules" regarding support....

    "16. All support people must be in uniform colours of the unit. Denim is not acceptable."

    To me this makes no sense, and even pointless. We all have different costumes...so we can't dress in the uniform colors. And even if we did "dress in the uniform colors, the support walkers would need support walkers.

    The point they are trying to make is...They don't want anyone in regular street cloths walking in the parade, including support. So that is why we can't have support walkers.

  8. strawbary Syracuse CR, RSA Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 11, 2002
    star 5
    its alittle late to have some done now but can the support walkers wear a "staff" black shirt or a YJN shirt? Also if denim isnt acceptable then perhaps you can all agree upon a certain color pants? khakis perhaps? if they all have to be in same color or uniform I would make the support walkers look as alike as possible. As far as the different costumes go... I cant imagine they would really have a fit about a costuming group. And you are all alike.... u are in SW attire. Thats what the group is.

    Its just a thought I figured I would post.
    Are they still allowing a vehicle this year?
  9. YoungJediNiagara RSA Emeritus FF Canada

    Member Since:
    Mar 23, 2001
    star 4
    No, we do not have a vehicle in the parade this year. In previous years we used my truck, but it is near death.
  10. beezel26 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2003
    star 7
    How about star wars shirts and black pants or kackis


  11. Cow_Girl Chapter Rep Niagara ON, CA

    Chapter Rep
    Member Since:
    Jun 15, 2001
    star 5
    I find it extremely intresting that there seems to be a number of groups that have participated in the last few years that are now as Chris put it "Walking away" from this parade becuase of these strict, and really kind of silly rules. Ironic considering they want to make the Parade "Bigger and Better" and they are really pushing away potential groups making it smaller. I would be very interested in seeing the article in the newspaper if anyone would mind saving me a copy.

    Also regarding water...soooooo important. By the time you realize you are thirsty your body is already dehyrdated, and as of yet there is no word on how the weather is going to be that day, If it is going to be a warm one I really do not want to hear about anyone passing out during the parade.

    It really comes down to this, The safety of the memebers versus these officals and there many rules one has got to come before the other, and if they do not like our "Handlers" in the Parade looking after the members in costume...Well really, they just need to deal with it and get over themselves. It would look FAR worse if we have people dropping during the parade becuase of Heat Exhausation (I pray it doesn't come to that, but just making a point)
  12. YoungJediNiagara RSA Emeritus FF Canada

    Member Since:
    Mar 23, 2001
    star 4
    RULES & REGULATIONS: ALL UNITS

    1. Completed Parade Applications MUST be received at the Festival Offices by August 15th 2007, regardless of past or current Festival History. Entries received after this date, WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED for the 2007 Niagara Grape & Wine Grande Parade.

    2. All applications must outline the entertainment value of the entry. Applications will be evaluated on: colour/ pageantry, Choreography/movement, thematic presentation, cohesive presentation, uniqueness/originality, relationship to the grape and wine industry, pertinence to the Niagara Region, safety, and it?s ?wow? factor. The Parade Committee may reject any application that does not meet regulations or, any entry on Parade Day that does not meet regulations or conform to the description on the Parade Application. Changes MUST be approved in writing by the Parade Committee and are final on August 15th, 2007.

    3. Floats/entries requesting to be judged, will be done so starting at 9am in the Marshalling Area by the Niagara Grape &Wine Parade Judging Committee, and will be based on the same criteria as outlined in Rule #2. Float owners/Entries or their agents are responsible for the delivery of their float/entries to the Marshalling Area, presentation ready for judging, and are responsible for the removal of float sentries from the dispersal area immediately after the Parade. Awards are presented in various categories, a complete list of which is available upon request, and will be available for pick up at the Festival office immediately following the parade.

    4. A minimum of four entries in any category must be present for the judging to take place.

    5. Any damages caused through storage or travel to the Marshalling Area must be repaired prior to the Parade to the standards set by the Parade Committee.

    6. Any entry which includes an engine and/or equestrian unit MUST provide proof of liability insurance for $2 million, by August 15th, 2007 for the Parade date of September 29th, 2007. Your application is considered incomplete until such copy is in our files, and failure to complete your application, WILL result in removal from the Parade up to and including the Parade Day, regardless of past or current Parade history.

    7. Float entries must submit a complete description of the float including a name for the entry, theme, construction detail, number of construction hours, cost of construction, size, plus any other pertinent information. This is important as it will be used for the television commentary. Maximum float height ? 13?6?, no length or width restrictions.

    8. Sponsorship identification on floats must be restricted to a panel, maximum *? long by 1? wide (proportionate to the size of the float), unless otherwise agreed to by the Parade Committee.
    9. All floats must be self propelled unless otherwise agreed by the Parade Committee. It is the responsibility of the entrant to supply their own gas and drivers.

    10. Any entry that slows the progress of the Parade may be withdrawn at any location along the Parade Route. A towing unit will be made available at all times.

    11. A detailed drawing or photograph must accompany all motorized or mechanical entry applications.

    12. Any motorized or mechanical units must be well finished, clean and in safe running condition.

    13. The safety of spectators must be respected at all times. Adequate side clearance must be maintained constantly. NOTHING is to be handed out/thrown during the Parade.

    14. If live entertainment or recorded music is a part of your entry, it must be noted on the application and approved in writing by the Parade Committee.

    15. Equestrian units 3 must provide their own clean-up personal, dressed matching the entry.

    16. All support people must be in uniform colours of the unit. Denim is not acceptable. One (1) support vehicle is allowed only with written permission from the Parade Chair.

    17. Performance group?s note ? in order to maintain parade flow, there is no stand and show at any time along the parade route.

    18. You will provide with deta
  13. grey_starr Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 22, 2004
    star 4

    So... no little ones eh... ouch... really do need someone to perhaps stay back with the kids...

    As for that water issue... I've beem in a lot of parades, and as long as it's there at the end, it's never been an issue during a parade... not going to tell me the Empire people are made of tougher stock eh?... it's not that long a parade route...
  14. Woofer Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 27, 2001
    star 4
    21. Anyone considered to be impaired or under the influence of drugs or alcohol will be withdrawn immediately.


    So this means what? 80% of the audience and possible a large majority of this year's parade committee?
  15. Doc_Bev Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2003
    star 5
    Perhaps we could have a car with water parked in that store lot where we did the group picture last year?
    That way people could re-hydrate after the parade and before the picture.
  16. jeigh Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 21, 2002
    star 3
    you know, I'm honestly really surprised that everyone is so willing to follow this 'no support worker' rule. Stick some people in starwars shirts & khakis and get them out there with water.

    if they feel that this is 'breaking the rules' what's gonna happen? At this point, do you even care if you're told off? Hydration is more important than these rules that really have no bearing on anything. You can't predict the way the weather is going to go - it's going to be 29 degrees today in vaughan. You want to be walking around in costume in that weather with no water?

    I don't know how long the parade is but it's long enough that this is just not smart. Despite the fact that I won't be in the parade (nuit blanche is that night, I will be sound asleep in preparation ;p) I would really really like to see everyone stop entertaining the possibility of not having someone there with water on hand.
  17. grey_starr Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 22, 2004
    star 4
    Hydration has never been an issue, it's not that long a parade... drink up before and after...

    The helpers are needed to watch the members in costumes, part protection from people running out and for costume malfunctions... at most we'd only need 3-4... front and back... and they did say "uniform or colours"... for us that IS pants and Star Wars shirt... really, nuff said, so no worries... just don't wear jeans...

    It would look more professional if the handlers were all in the same shirt though... get some 4-5$ shirts and print our Niagra FanForce on transfer paper...
  18. YoungJediNiagara RSA Emeritus FF Canada

    Member Since:
    Mar 23, 2001
    star 4
    Raining on their parade; Gymnastics club bounced from Wine Festival tradition
    Posted By MONIQUE BEECH
    Posted 18 hours ago | Updated 12 hours ago
    The gymnasts were crushed at the news.

    For the first time in more than 15 years, the troupe from Gymnastics Energy in St. Catharines won't be participating in the Niagara Wine Festival's annual Grande Parade.

    The requirements to get in simply got tougher.

    Festival organizers say they wanted to raise the bar at this year's parade on Sept. 29 and are asking more of participants.

    New policies and criteria have been introduced, such as asking entry groups to don matching uniforms and add grape and wine decor to vehicles.

    Last year's entries were videotaped, reviewed and then scored for overall performance. Feedback to groups was issued.

    A handful of groups didn't make the cut, including Gymnastics Energy.

    The club was advised to enhance its usual routine by having professional-looking hair, cut out singing, yelling and clapping, stay in formation, and wear matching uniforms, said Gord Pugh, a parent who sits on the gymnastic club's board of directors.

    In the end, the club felt it couldn't meet the new criteria, said Pugh, who works for Reif Estate Winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

    Typically, about 30 to 40 competitive gymnasts backflip and cartwheel down the parade route. "To me, it's our major hometown event," said Pugh, whose eight-year-old son, Austin, trains with the Hannover Drive club.

    "The kids look forward to it. I would say I'm disappointed that they would do that. I guess they're trying to clean up the image of the parade. I guess we don't fit the image. I don't know."

    Festival president Ken Weir said improving the quality of the marquee event has been the No. 1 issue he's heard about from board members, wineries and consumers since assuming the job last year.

    Weir said his staff have worked "religiously" with groups teetering on the parade-time borderline.

    Most groups gladly took the parade committee's suggestions and adopted them, he said. For example, the Club Sardegna Nel Niagara in St. Catharines will enter a float for the first time this year.

    The changes were meant "to enhance the overall quality and entertainment value of the parade," Weir said.

    "I've joked the last couple of months that if you had a '55 Chevy and a magnetic decal you can't get in the parade anymore. There's not a lot of entertainment quality or value to that."

    But Debby Leigh of Thorold said festival organizers may have gone too far in their efforts to improve the parade.

    Leigh said her Star Wars-themed group, Young Jedi Niagara, was told this year to get better costumes and stay in formation on the street or face losing their spot.

    "They say they want it to be more like a Macy's (Thanksgiving Day) parade," said Leigh, adding the group opted to meet the requests.

    "Well, we're a local group and it's not like we have the money to fork out for these costumes. I mean, they are all handmade. Some kids don't have the money for a Macy's day costume, you know?"


    The Lincoln County Humane Society was also told it couldn't participate in the parade after mailing in its application late.

    Kevin Strooband, humane society executive director, said he understands protocol, but will miss the exposure the parade gave to animals up for adoption.

    "As a local charity, it's unfortunate we couldn't get in," Strooband said.

    The intention, Weir said, was not to lose the community focus of the event, but to elevate the quality and entertainment value - and shorten it from its typical two-hour run to about 90 minutes.

    Several local groups, such as the popular Laura Secord Secondary School junk band, are still in the parade, he said.

    "Our hope is that (participating groups) will see it as they have to do something in the parade besides just march or walk along the parade route," Weir said.

    "There has to be more to it. Especially if you're a visitor for the first time to St. Catharines or bringing your family down, th
  19. beezel26 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2003
    star 7
    guys I need a decision. I want to come out and join you but if they wont let me come then I am useless.

    I walked with you guys for four consecutive years and do not want to give up. I have helped both 501st and RL and FF. I serve all and will be there at any event you need me.

    This may be my last opportunity to march with you. I will not be in this hemisphere much longer. Its Australia for me. I dont want to lose this opportunity.


    If you can get me in that parade as your helper. I will be there hell or high water. I guarantee that.


    I said what I meant and I meant what I said. This Beezel is faithful 100%
  20. TC-5986 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 2, 2005
    Do they realize how hard it is to stay in formation when you have people physically stopping you for photos, high fives, etc?

    If handler attire is an issue (which it almost assuredly will not be when you have people who require hydration), throw on a costume if you can get access to one. We have a tusken mask & robes not being used, I'm sure there are others. Heck, I may have a suit of armour to lend out if need be. Can we get an idea of how many people we have going without costumes or anyone who has a friend they wish to come along?

    Oh, and also about the "keep in order" rule, we usually work out a marching order on the spot, can we have the handlers or someone keeping an eye on this like we've had before? I know it's real easy to fall behind when you're looking out of a helmet.
  21. YoungJediNiagara RSA Emeritus FF Canada

    Member Since:
    Mar 23, 2001
    star 4
    How many of us still have YJN shirts?
    If you have them still, bring them. The walkers can borrow one thats fits, and wear anything other than jeans.
  22. Yebbed-Crage Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2001
    star 4
    Chris and I were at Montebello Park today to see some of the kids festivities with Kaitlyn. Needless to say, there were none, and what was there SUCKED! If they think this is improving the G&W festivities for Niagara, well I was very disappointed.

    I am so upset with the way I have been treated by the G&W committee, and even more upset that when I called to clarify that we would like to be judged, it was not made clear to me at that time that it would be at 9 am before the parade. I don't feel I can ask you guys to be in your costume all that time, so really I just want to call the office and tell them that we have changed our mind about being judged since they did not inform us that it was not occuring during the parade as in other years. I want some quick feedback if this is ok with the rest of the group.

    Also, wondering if anyone, possibly Bay and Crystal, are available to help with any kids that are not of age. I know Sam and Dan have 2, but not aware of any others....?

    Thanks for any feedback guys!!!

    Deb
  23. Doc_Bev Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2003
    star 5
    I would forget about the judging this year. I'm not sure that any of us have a very high opinion of their opinion anyways :p

    We have 2 kids (4 & 1) that we can hopefully leave home with Grandma, but we're not sure yet if she's available.

    ~Doc_Bev
  24. Cow_Girl Chapter Rep Niagara ON, CA

    Chapter Rep
    Member Since:
    Jun 15, 2001
    star 5
    Sorry Deb, but count me out as a Babysitter during the Parade becuase it looks now as though I will not be able to make it to the Parade until later in the afternoon sometime, though I would still like to come and see everyone again even if I am not marching in the Parade this year (I keep forgetting what I have put on facebook and what I have written here, lol)

    As for being judged, I agree that the opionion of the Parade Community ranks very low in mind and its rather unfair that they would expect those of the group, espically those in larger and more eleborate costumes to be ready that early in the morning, and then have nowhere to change back again and have to wait in gear for the Parade to start, and then walk in the Parade. Espically when there is the chance I may be very warm that day, the weather has been funny lately.

    Once again you have done a great job of bringing this together Deb, I think I would have given up on being any kind of polite with the Parade Commitee a LONG time ago. I am sorry to hear that they keep giving you so much trouble.
  25. Primrodo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 23, 2002
    star 4
    Stephanie has mentioned that if someone needs to stay behind to watch the kidlings, she is more than willing...

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