Everybody loves a parade. One community in Western North Carolina REALLY loves a parade. Inspired by The Liberty Parade, the town of Andrews and Elkland Art Center have been working together to build their own community made parade.
Enjoy this short video of the Andrews Parade and Residency.
Through the HandMade in America Crafting Vibrant Rural Communities program, Elkland Art Center taught Andrews community members to create their own unique Earth Day Parade in 2013. The Town of Andrews has chosen to make this parade an annual tradition by building parade items and expanding community involvement year after year.
This year, through a grant from the North Carolina Arts Council and the Cherokee Arts Council, Elkland Art Center taught parade-making skills at Andrews Elementary School. In a ten-day residency, community members, teachers and twenty five after-school students were steeped in the parade-making and delivery processes.
In a brief planning session, students, teachers, and community members came up with the theme, "Andrews: Whoooo Are We?" The group wanted to explore their town identity and showcase all that they were proud of about their community.
During the residency, students and community members created costumes, a giant owl puppet, banners, fish puppets, a wildcat, the seven clans of the Cherokee, mountains and bees to represent what they love about their community.
The two week residency ended with a May Day Parade complete with a May Pole and a May Pole dance hosted by the Morris Dancers of Brasstown.