As the month of November set in, excitement for the Christmas Parade began to build. For three years, we have participated in the Cary Christmas Parade, spreading the joy of FIRST to hundreds of people. Our tradition of participating in a Christmas Parade continued this year, but unlike previous years, we decided to participate in Apex’s Christmas Parade.

Every year, we incorporate elements from the most recent game into our float. This year, the game had a steampunk theme. To connect the theme to the holidays, we decided to make our float into a Christmas steam engine. After finalizing a design, we immediately started to work on the float. To make our train, we used the gears from STEAMworks, elements from Recycle Rush, and a fog machine. Unlike the Cary Christmas Parade, Apex’s parade is at night. As a result, we also had to do some slight adjustments to the original float. For example, we decorated our robots and float in hundreds of lights to make them visible. A few meetings later, the float was finished.

On the day of the parade, we put the finishing touches on our float and headed to the queuing lineup. While waiting for the parade to start, we played a game of ultimate frisbee to pass the time and keep warm. After about an hour of frisbee, it was time for the parade to start. Despite a few communication and technical difficulties, the parade was quite successful! The team had a fantastic time, and many people told us how impressed they were with our demonstration!