Downeast Humanists and Freethinkers Message Board › Winter Solstice float: Happy Winter Solstice from Downeast Humanists & F

Winter Solstice float: Happy Winter Solstice from Downeast Humanists & Freethinkers

Lynn H.
user 46332842
Franklin, ME
Post #: 2
Hi All,
As we discussed at our meeting on Saturday, I got the lowdown on the December 7th parade in Ellsworth. It's known as both the Holiday Parade and Christmas Parade depending upon who you talk to. The parade is sponsored by the Downtown Ellsworth Business Association, so it has a capitalist, not religious bent to it. This year's theme is "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" - doesn't sound very religious to me... (unless you worship Elvis!)

I spoke with the organizer of the parade and she was delighted that we were interested in participating. She said that over the years they have come up with just about every theme they could think of, and she thought our Winter Solstice idea sounded good. I told her that our group would discuss it and get back to her with our decision. I told her about our ideas of either highlighting the origin of Winter Solstice symbols, like decorating evergreen trees, wreaths, mistletoe, etc. (which came from the ancient Roman Saturnalia, Druids, etc.) or the astronomical aspects of winter solstice. She was cool with both ideas.

The only rules for the parade is that no one is allowed to dress as Santa (don't want to confuse the kiddies, as the "real" Big Man is the finale of the parade) and if we throw goodies to the crowd, we must do so underhanded, so as not to bean anyone on the head. Handouts are fine.

Nancy and I discussed the idea of having a big Solstice Tree on our float decorated with natural items, like feathers, seashells, leaves, berries, etc. We would also develop an short handout about the solstice with Downeast Humanist contact info on it.

If you are interested in helping design, build and/or decorating the float, please contace Nancy or me. I think it will be lots of fun and be good publicity and community interaction for Downeast Humanists.

Lynn Havsall lhavsall@gmail.com
Holiday Geek
Nancy G.
user 8856801
Group Organizer
Bar Harbor, ME
Post #: 318
A second possibility for a theme which would fit with the theme of the parade would be The History of the Christmas Tree. and we could print handouts with info on pagan origins, etc., which would be a way of having a real educational component! We could roll the informational paper up in a scroll fashion, wrap with a little ribbon and a sprig of balsam, and families could read together how and when the Xmas evergreens/tree idea started, showing how it pre-dates Christianity, how the Puritans felt about such heathen customs, etc.
Doug B.
user 8862280
Franklin, ME
Post #: 226
Thanks for doing the work on this so far Lynn and Nancy. I like the ideas and am willing to help out any way I can. But I was really hoping to dress up as Elvis and rock around the tree. wink
Nancy G.
user 8856801
Group Organizer
Bar Harbor, ME
Post #: 319
Doug, you are welcome to dress as Elvis, but didn't you volunteer to drive the truck?smile
Doug B.
user 8862280
Franklin, ME
Post #: 227
Oh Yea. Guess I did. That's ok; my white rhinestone jump suit is at the cleaners anyway.
George S.
user 66135432
Ellsworth, ME
Post #: 4
If that's the only excuse, I'll drive the truck :).

Another possibility to consider is to add a sign to each of the props on the float (tree, wreaths, yule log, etc) indicating where, when, and from what culture the custom originated.
Nancy G.
user 8856801
Group Organizer
Bar Harbor, ME
Post #: 321
Doug, these are your costume choices, and I hope some of you have some furs and antlers lying around. If we are going to dress as pagans the costumers are going to be very busy.

http://www.boredpanda...­
Doug B.
user 8862280
Franklin, ME
Post #: 228
Well Nancy, now I know where the Star Wars people got their ideas for what aliens look like.
And thanks George but I'll be quite comfy in the truck ( with the heater going). Also keep in mind that whatever we do for signage has to be readable from 20-30 ft. on a moving float.
Amy E. T.
user 35268572
Ellsworth, ME
Post #: 26
This sounds like a great idea. I am afraid we will get backlash from the community if we distribute material that dares to suggest that a tree is not Christian tradition. A sad by-product of our facts-optional culture. So be it. If it gets people talking, that might lead to thinking. wink I wish I could volunteer to help, but I know I will be herding Girl Scouts for the event.
Abbie M.
downeastdance
Bangor, ME
Post #: 186
A second possibility for a theme which would fit with the theme of the parade would be The History of the Christmas Tree. and we could print handouts with info on pagan origins, etc., which would be a way of having a real educational component! We could roll the informational paper up in a scroll fashion, wrap with a little ribbon and a sprig of balsam, and families could read together how and when the Xmas evergreens/tree idea started, showing how it pre-dates Christianity, how the Puritans felt about such heathen customs, etc.
I really,really like this idea. How many scrolls do you think we would need? I will volunteer to help draft the text and do the production, except I'll need help rolling and tying the scrolls if we have 500 or more. I'm thinking one sheet of parchment-like paper, plain black ink.
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