Wow! it’s the one word which best sums up our involvement with the 2014 Moomba Parade.
It’s a long day, for most members of the band begun their day at 6am, getting ready to catch an early train from Werribee. A few drove or caught a lift, but it’s an early start nonetheless.
The morning before the parade can be best described as “Hurry up and wait!”. The organisers require participants be on-site (at Melbourne Grammar) at 8.30am, however the parade doesn’t begin until 11am. Once we checked in at 8.30am, we gathered under a tree in the park near the corner of Domain Rd and St Kilda Rd until be here shepherded in to the underground car park at 9.15am.
More hurry up and wait! until we formed as a group at 10am then hit the street, where we walked up to our designated place on St Kilda Rd, and did a little more hurry up and wait.
At 11am the parade begun and by about 11.05am we were off!
We marched and played, played and marched as the crowd grew thicker and thicker. Starting with a few people here and there until very quickly there were several deep on either side of the parade route. There was lots of noise and colour – some members of the band had trouble hearing each other, but as long as you can hear the melody and drums you are generally going to be OK. Luckily we had five trumpeters today so little worry about not hearing the melody!
The parade route wrapped around in to Southbank Blv and then finished, for us, at about 11.40am. We were well and truly exhausted – especially considering the 30-odd degree heat (it was officially 29.5c at 11am in Melbourne!). We had been provided with orange ties and Stetson hats by the parade organisers so they certainly helped keep the sun off.
A drink of water and sit for the members and we officially called it a day. Back to our preferred mode of transport to our individual destinations – Moomba done and dusted for another year.