The Big Parade
is coming to town again.
Kicked off last year as a student-organized but community-based
parade and festival, featuring floats, food and performers, the
eventdrew hundreds from the College and town together in the name
of good clean fun.
Seniors Katy Goodman and Zach Moser, and junior Page Neal say they
want to make this year’s Big Parade even Bigger.
“We want to get more people involved, make more floats and
have more music,” Goodman said.
To that end, they are trying to get the word out early, beginning
with a slide show and video presentation of last year’s event
at the Oberlin Public Library on Thursday Nov. 21, at 7 p.m.
“It is fun to see everyone all dressed up and having such
a great time,” Moser said. “Looking at the pictures
and watching the movie got me really excited to work on the parade
Last year’s parade was the first in what organizers hope will
become an annual tradition. Many saw it as an example of what town-gown
collaboration could do for Oberlin. Participating organizations
came from over 60 different community groups, including the Oberlin
Middle School Art Club, the Oberlin Bike Co-op and OROR. A daylong
festival in Tappan Square featuring live music, games and free food
for 700 people, followed the Parade.
The organizers attributed the event’s success to its simple
purpose, unusual organizing structure and the hard work of many
“We just wanted people to have a good time together,”
Goodman said. “We didn’t want to tell anyone what to
The organizing committee, which included Neal, Moser, Goodman and
others, encouraged groups to do their own projects independently,
and participate in any way they desired.
“By not dictating roles, many different kinds of groups were
attracted,” Moser said. “Basically no one was really
in charge of the Big Parade except for the participants, which made
it a much more dynamic event.”
The organizers will try a similar approach this year. “Many
of the people who helped organize the parade last year have graduated,
but hopefully lots of new people will want to participate and organize,”
All groups are encouraged to prepare a project for the parade. Projects
can be anything a person or group wants to share with the community.
Last year’s projects ranged from giant puppets to pie-eating
“We are having this event to get people excited about participating,
and also to explain how for people who aren’t sure what its
all about,” Moser said. “Plus there will be root beer