First Night Virginia Floats

By: Venton Blandin Email
By: Venton Blandin Email

December 13, 2006

The new year is just weeks away, and the preparations for "First Night Virginia" are in full swing.

Last minute pieces are being put onto the floats for this year's "First Night Virginia" parade. The move-able structures made of paper and cardboard are sure to set-off the event's 25th year just right.

"Our parade will continue on as a continuance throughout Christmas season this year, next year, and the following year. That is our goal, and our intention," said Float Creator Cecil Roebuck.

Cecil Roebuck and 20 others with Krewe of Paradians spent a month creating two floats. They are no ordinary floats. They are not even what you would see in the Macy's Thanksgiving day parade, but they are what you would see at the Rose Bowl in California.

"She roars, she shoots bubbles, she has air, and all types of water coming out of her whiskers," added Roebuck.

The dragon float is self-propelled which means nothing pulls the float. The 14-footer is built around a school bus which will drive it through the streets of Charlottesville.

Roebuck says the inaugural edition of floats in Charlottesville's "First Night Virginia" parade will have things bursting at the seams.

"We're going to have beads, moon-pies, frisbees, and all types of trinkets we'll be throwing to the crowds," said Roebuck.

Those on the floats will be in costume and masks giving a mardi gras-like feel. Everyone, including the Cavalier Man, who has a float of his own can experience the fun on new year's eve.

Roebuck is from the gulf coast, and has spent 20 years creating floats for the Rose Bowl, Mardi Gras, and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parades.

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