Tuesday, July 04, 2006

4th of July Weekend - Part IV

The actual 4th of July started way too early for a holiday, but ended up being a pretty good day! The Crossroads Crew entered a boat in the Cardboard Boat Regatta (or Art Armada, whatever you want to call it), and thus had a float in the parade as well. Walking in a parade wasn't really what any of us had in mind when we joined the core team, but you do what ya gotta do! I had no idea what a big deal this Sheboygan 4th of July parade was, but there were people stacked five and six deep along the parade route. We had 1,500 frisbees to give out, and grossly underestimated the number of people that would show up for the parade. We were out of frisbees after about half the parade, but were still able to get in some mini-conversations with parade watchers, that really made the whole thing worthwhile. Seeing the kids get so excited about handing out frisbees to the other kids - and getting all the attention - was pretty cool too. TJ said it best when he was thinking how he never imagined he would be walking in a parade (implying that he felt kind of stupid doing it), but then said "What am I worried about! Look at all these people who showed up just to watch me walk!" That put it in perspective a little. It was also awesome to see everyone in this group, who are really putting their hearts and themselves into this church launch, have a great time, and get a chance to be pretty unashamedly public about their faith. It makes being on this journey with these people that much more exciting. Thanks Guys!

After the parade came the regatta. Cardboard boats in the dirty Sheboygan River (where there were several dead fish floating) are bound to bring some laughs. Our boat, Superbowl Champs 2007, (keeping with the theme of "A Better World" - what's better than the Packers winning?? - Other than a Bears fan rowing the boat!), featured Lambeau Field and a huge Lombardi trophy replica. It was definitely one of the better built boats, as it required no repair jobs in between heats, and didn't take on any water. We did well enough to make it through to the semi-final round (having the 8th best time out of 8 boats to make it on to the next round - but as Zach reminded us "The last shall be first!"). I couldn't tell you exactly what place we ended up in, we didn't win (weren't 8th either though), but we got a ton of publicity, and met a bunch of people who wanted to ask questions and were interested in Crossroads, so overall the day was a success - Job Well Done Core Team! Check us out at www.crossroadssheboygan.org for more pictures and more info!

The regatta also featured the second public proposal I saw in 4 days. One pair of rowers, in a boat shaped like a dove called "A Better World Through Love" (which should have been the first hint), ended up in the middle of the course, and didn't seem to care, when all of a sudden a sign showed up in the boat saying "Be my first mate. Be my wife." Followed by a heart shaped "Yes" sign. They got a ton of cheering and applause, but didn't do so well in the race, but I'm guessing they weren't so worried about that at that point.

It was a long day in the sun and heat (which was actually pretty nice!), but I found a pretty cool Sheboygan event, and had a pretty good time. Who knew walking (not marching!) in a parade and building and racing cardboard (and polystyrene) boats could be that much fun!

Happy Fourth of July!

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