Sunday, January 8, 2012

First Night Parade HYCC "Heroes"

Happy New Year to all!!  May 2012 be filled with adventure and
fun mixed with moments of delightful peace and quiet for us all!!

As usual this year, we ended the year with noise and glitter by
marching in Boston's First Night Parade along with the
Hawthorne Youth and  Community Center group.  HYCC's
"theme" for our presentation this  year was "heroes".  Local
artist, Lisa Lee, and I co-facilitated the project working  with
after school kids and other member  of the community on
Saturdays this Fall. Lisa and I enjoy working together  and
love seeing  a project evolve as we brainstorm and kids and
community take it and add their ideas. 

We discussed "heroes" and what "traits" make a hero and
left choices  wide open.  Each child or adult chose their
"hero", printed out a name/s, printed  out a "trait" on shade
cloth strips to be added to our large banner, and 17
individual "puppet" heroes were created.
Choice of heroes was varied - Many children honored
family members.
 Others chose inspiring  individuals in the community and world
(including Michelle and Barack Obama, Kip Tiernan (founder
of Boston's Rosie's place), etc. One youth chose himself, another
God, others musical idols.  Here is the side of the banner with
all the names. It's quite a list!
Choice of traits varied as well.  From Determined:
 To "Good Dad:" (one youth's choice for Pres. Obama), to feisty
(Kip),  helpful, awesome, inspiring, nicest, bravery, respect, real,
nicest. "Saved me", powerful, caring, loving...
First Night projects always include color and glitter. Lisa
is adding an extra bit of glitz to the HYCC banner here:

This is the trait side of the banner being carried in the parade. 

 Last year Lisa and I decided we had to have lights this
year. So blinking star lights lit  up the top of the banner..

The individual hero puppets were made of gallon
milk jugs on a dowel with arms of foam pipe insullation.

 with added shirts , scarves, hands and beads:
Michelle Obama had special glittery fingernails!

Just before the parade, the hero puppets waited
patiently for their creators to pick them up to march. 

Each individual puppet had a 3 LED tap light inside the the faces could be seen during the parade:
Here are a few in the parade:
"My Mom"
Niki Manaj:
Kip Tiernan and Louis Armstrong:
Pres. Obama walked with some Vetran friends:
I brought along Bill T. Jones:
We had donated New Orleans beads to pass out
along the route. Everyone started walking very bedecked!

Over 50 people walked with HYCC  this year (including one of
our daughters, her husband and two children.  Our grandson
had a great time choosing whom he thought needed beads!)
And because it was in the balmy mid-40's the crowds were
bigger than ever to share in the First Night Festivities. Right
after the parade, a  fireworks display is set off in the
Boston Commons....a great end to a family event!

Again Happy New Year to everyone!.. onward to 2012!!!

Adventure on!  Wendy


  1. What great photos Wendy. Thanks for describing the creative process at HYCC - the little program that could and does! I was felled by a cold so I spent most of New Year's Eve dozing off and on. This post helps me share the love!

  2. Glad we were able to share a little of the First Night fun with you! Yes, HYCC can and does! ("The little engine that could" was always one of my favorite children's stories!)