Sunday, January 11, 2009

This is just the beginning!

Thanks to everyone who participated in the first annual St. Joan of Arc Twelfth Night Parade! It rained, but we reigned back!

I learned a ton...and can't wait to apply the lessons to next year (SAVE THE DATE! WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 6TH!). Thank you to all who jumped on board in the beginning, middle, and end of this project...I will post a more formal recap next week after refining the one I sent to the email list.

Most importantly, YES! We will be a krewe next year, we will have dues, we will have several more formalities, i.e. we will choose a young Joan to ride w/ us as they do in France...we will have two days of activities leading up to the parade (SAVE THE DATES! JAN 4-6TH!)...we will have more shelter should it rain....we will extend the route through the French Quarter...we will involve more and other groups, from cultural organizations to schools to international groups.

Celebrating Joan of Arc offers us immense possibilities, from the artistic to the historical, from the religious to our local symbolism. We anticipate next year to be another journey of surprise, connection, beauty, and awesome fun to be had by all ages.

In the meantime, I cherish the quote my husband handed me the day after the parade, when I was reviewing and revising and losing is the first time I've organized a parade, and despite the great press and enthusiastic response from the public (thank you for the sweet emails from those who came or those who missed it and are sorry!), I know there's lots of room for expansion, improvement, adjustment, and realignment, etcetera!

This quote is now stuck to my bedroom mirror:

"In order to go on living one must try to escape the death involved in perfectionism."

--Hannah Arendt

I know from producing theater, special events, and talk radio (my current job), that productions are never perfect, and the pleasure comes from the magic that occurs quite accidentally. As long as you have a significant amount of your production under control, the show goes on and most things fall into place. A small example: I was frustrated that between the rain drenching the wicks and the wind on the river and Decatur, we could not light the processional candles for Joan...but then we passed them out along the route (thanks to some really nice guy dressed in a medieval/Clockwork Orange kinda costume) and at the statue, they were lit...providing a lovely addition to the happy birthday theme for Joan. So you see, as long as there are enough meaningful components and positive people and an overall message and theme, a kind of perfection arises...

Known as, a parade!!

Thank you to everyone for making this a success on many levels--including the horses, who seemed quite happy to be there, too.