Syracuse St. Patrick’s Day Parade Recap

Turbo Bocce put a float in the St. Patrick’s Day parade.   We celebrated our champions, gave out free beer, candy and tee shirts, and also recreated the parade scene from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

Its true, we did it, and I have proof.

St. Pats Parade Pic

You are probably wondering how something like this came to pass . . . so I’ll tell you.

Turbo Bocce’s history with Ferris Bueller goes all the way back to 2006.  Back then we were tried splitting the league into two different divisions.  We decided that the best way to break up the divisions would be to put all the crazy people in one division and all the normal people in the other.   We even gave each division a mascot and a theme song.

The normal peole’s division was the “Bob”  division.  Their mascot was a very serious beer bottle named Bob, who was an accountant.  This is what he looked like:


And this was the Bob division’s theme song:

The crazy people’s division was the ” Turbo” division.  Their mascot was an Asian bocce ball from outer space (yes, he was both Asian and from outer space . . . don’t over think it) named Turbo who flew around on a rocket powered skateboard.

This is what Turbo looked like:




And this was the Turbo division’s theme song:

Do you recognize the song?  Its from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

I’m dusting off all this ancient history for a reason, it relays an important lesson about Turbo Bocce, and the lesson is this: everything I just told you ACTUALLY happened.  It seems too crazy to have happened, but it did.

So now when I talk about how we walked the streets of Syracuse with a police escort and a thirty pack of beer, with the song Danke Schoen cued up, and our keg trophies handy, all while handing out free beer to the adults and free candy to the kids – just understand that even though it sounds way too crazy to happen, it actually did.  I think that’s the real lesson from our St. Patrick’s Day experience: despite all logic and reason, these things ACTUALLY happen.

st. pats parade pic IV

We had been tossing around the idea of putting a float in the St. Patrick’s Day parade since last year, so a coupleof weeks after the Super Bowl about 20 people from our league got together over drinks to form a think tank to decide what, if anything, we wanted to do for this year’s parade.

We have some brilliant minds in our bocce league, I know this because these think tanks always seem to work out even though we spend as much time drinking as we do thinking.  Usually lots of thinking and lots of drinking don’t go together, but we have always managed to make it work.

Everything came together fairly quickly.  The idea to recreate the parade in Ferris Bueller came out and was immediately agreed on.  We you-tube’d the video, and immediately went to amazon to order the supplies.  After that we were pretty much ready for parade day.

I filled out the form required to join the parade, and Andrew Dougherty got his company, Sunoco, to sponsor us.  Andrew deserves a big thank you here, because without his sponsorship I really don’t think the float would have happened.

The next time we met up was a couple hours before the parade started.  We converged in an Aldi’s parking lot about half a mile away from the place we were suppose to report to be marshaled into the parade.  We brought a truck, a flat bed trailer, some bocce signs, and lots of green paper and balloons.  The key to recreating the Ferris Bueller parade was to have flowers and evergreen trees – the flowers I picked up at the dollar store, and the trees my wife made with some level of crafty magic that’s unknown to me.

Here is a decent picture of the finished product:

St PAts Pic II

When it was done we put the league champions in the truck bed, the Ferris Bueller re-creators in the flat bed, and the rest of us walked behind.

We entered the parade right about where Middle Ages Brewery is located (which definitely came in handy).  We weren’t suppose to drink but the parade marshals resigned themselves to losing that battle and letting us drink fairly quickly (thanks to Turbo Bocce champ and all around good guy, George Christou for stopping by just to bring us beer along the route).

Most of the parade was simply a tribute to our champions.  They announced Balls of Fury and Black Jesus as league champions, Greg Griffo as our one-on-one champion, and mentioned the Guinness World Record we broke.

When we got to the judges (yes they do judge each float, and pick winners) we kicked on the Danke Schoen and Twist and Shout and recreated this scene: 

Except for my sloppy back-peddling camera work, I think we did a pretty good job.  Here is what it looked like:

I love that you can see Cameron and Sloan in the background.  I think we had an especially handsome Cameron.

St. Pats parade pic V

Our Ferris Bueller re-creators did an amazing job!  Heather Cleveland and Jill Griffo killed it dancing on the float, and our “Ferris” deserves a special mention . . . you might know him better as Sanguine French, Turbo Bocce mascot.  His performance was truly something special, Bravo.

To me this picture shows better than anything how we were able to capture the scene from the movie:

St. Pats Pic III



Unfortunately the judges were a bunch of old dudes who had no clue who Ferris Bueller is.  You could see the blank look on their faces.

We did not place among the three best floats in the parade.

But that wasn’t really the purpose of our parade entry.  What was the purpose, you might ask?  I’m not quite sure.  Just to do something crazy I guess . . . and if that’s the case, mission accomplished!

So the question now becomes, do we want to top this float next year.  Maybe.  What will we do?  I think its fair to say that anything is possible.