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Santa Claus Parade by Kiara S.

Our international float for the Invermere Santa Claus Parade.

In December, Kiara and other RMISP students participated in the Invermere Santa Claus Parade. Kiara shared her experience with us:

It all started when our homestay coordinator told us about the parade three weeks before the event. At first we weren't sure if we should really do it, and there was a lot of work ahead of us, but at our next meeting a week later we decided to go for it.

So two other students and I volunteered to organize everything! We met the next day after school to discuss some ideas. In two hours we gathered a lot, especially about how we wanted to decorate the truck: We came up with the plan of getting flags from each country we represent, wrapping the truck with Christmas lights, and ordering reindeer antlers for the car. The next day we met after school to figure out who was in charge of what and who would hold the flags and hand out the candy.

Everything was well prepared, but then the snowstorm and floods in the west turned everything upside down. We couldn't order anything in the short time we had left, which forced us to be more creative: So one of the other volunteers proposed to draw RMISP signs with each letter designed in the flags of the five countries we wanted to represent: Netherlands, Mexico, Switzerland, Spain and Germany. We also came up with the idea of playing Christmas songs from each country, which turned out to be great!

When everything started to come together, we had Monday to Saturday left to get all the Christmas lights, antlers (which we would wear), candy, and utilities for the RMISP signs. We worked for over ten hours drawing those signs to copy every detail of the flags. Even though it was a lot of work and took us many hours of sleep because we only had five days left and had to balance it with school sports practices and tests, it was still a lot of fun!

We finally finished the day before the parade and as a reward, there was lots of snow the day of the Christmas parade. It was the first time it actually stayed put, and that made the parade something magical! So we met two hours before the parade started, decorated the truck with all the stuff we had gotten, and drove to the starting point of the parade, where a few host families also showed up to support us. At first, jokes were made about it being a parade with only three floats, but soon there were so many that you couldn't even count them!

The parade was one of my biggest "WOW moments" here. It felt great to give candy to little kids,
wave to their parents, and representing RMISP! I'm sure I speak for everyone that we had an
amazing time and are very thankful that we were able to have this great experience!

Blog post and photo submitted by Kiara from Germany, a grade 11 student at David Thompson Secondary School in Invermere. 

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