Four months of Saturdays by a team of loyalists has produced two complete cupcake cars and two in-process. While the finished cars were on display and driven at the Mayor’s announcement of Maker Faire, they’d never been tested in a full-scale parade. Saturday’s Pride Parade with it’s torrential downpour and extended course was our big test … and we passed with flying colors!
About a month ago we were approached about joining the Burning Man contingent of the Pride Parade. Burning Man? Pride? Heck yeah! But could our south county cupcake go the distance? Could it keep up with the parade?
We ran speed trials. We conducted distance drives. We ended up not being sure of anything other than that we needed new batteries and thankfully we got them just in time. Days before Pride we drove around and around in the Fab Lab with good results. Per our driver Graham: “Speed was consistently 3 mph and battery meter stayed in the green zone until about 5.3 miles (1:55 driving time), got to red at 5.6 miles, and then finally pooped out at 6.2 miles.” We were ready.
Ready for what? We arrived and were in position by 9:00. Around 9:30 the sun broke through … by 10:30 it was raining cats and dogs. We were participant 130 which was perhaps three quarters through the parade so we waited. And waited. Not till 12:30 did our thoroughly soaked team finally get moving. For several blocks we saw only empty sidewalks. The rain had driven bystanders indoors. But then we turned the corner on to University and the world exploded with enthusiasm. The real parade had begun!
For miles we moved ahead. Sharon and Chris zigged and zagged and pirouetted in the cupcake, delighting the crowd. Rob and I marched on, holding our Maker Faire banner and at-the-ready in the event our drivers got stuck, stalled or the batteries stuttered. Along the way we met lots of great people, especially in the Burning Man crew. The energy was electric! We were soaked but smiles wouldn’t leave our faces. We were having fun and so were onlookers.
While the weather was awful, the experience was fantastic!
We met lots prospective exhibitors and got the (soggy) word out.
Most satisfying was proving our cupcake cars are ready for prime time!