Disney Institute – 76 Trombones

The Blueprint

Excitement is in the air. The street is lined with lawn chairs, blankets, strollers, eager children and everyone is straining to get the first glimpse of the approaching parade.   The scene is the same whether in rural Indiana or Orlando Florida.  Who doesn’t love a parade?

After attending the Disney Institute workshop, I re-evaluated the impact participating in a hometown parade could have on a local business.  How often do you have a captive audience of  thousands of onlookers, all waiting to see “you” ?  There is no question that it requires a commitment of time and money but how can you put a price on creating memories?

In 1979 Valparaiso gave birth to the first Popcorn Festival and Parade inspired by Orville Redenbacher, a Valparaiso native who became a household name with his very own brand of popcorn? 

Fast forward  to 2009, the theme for the parade is “Celebrate Valparaiso”.  It is our third time participating in the parade and we needed a float theme.  While looking through our vacation photos we realized that the Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade could be the blueprint.   It was perfect.

With the creative brilliance of my daughter Erica, 7 gallons of colorful paint, carpet padding, carpet roll tubes,  hula hoops, vinyl flooring, cardboard boxes, lamp shades, and of course popcorn, my favorite float, to date, was born.

Our Interpretation

Check out the "centerpiece"

Doug's 1937 !!

We won the 2009  “Kernels Kup ” Award.

Stay tuned to find out if we can win an award for our wacky interpretation of this year’s theme “Popcorn in Paradise”.

Have a wonder-filled day,

Donna Flanagin

Random Me: I moved to Valparaiso IN in 1978.

The magic and enthusiasm of the Disney Institute workshop is over, now what? This blog is about exactly that,  for a small bulk mail business in Indiana.

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9 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Can’t wait to see the kids this year! I love how their faces light up when I wave to them and blow them kisses – and then i love to see the boys shy away even though i know they love it! ha!

    • Yes, let’s go make some memories for the kids and US !!

  2. Your inspiration is inspiring.
    Good luck this year.
    Keep making your Magic.
    People are noticing. 🙂

    • Thank you. Do you really think people are noticing? Doesn’t really matter does it? Or does it?

      • Donna, it matters if you have a purpose for your blog, otherwise, it doesn’t matter.
        Maybe another question is, does it matter to you?
        I’m feeling a blog post coming on….
        One of the main reasons bloggers stop blogging is because they don’t think anyone is reading.
        A determined (purpose-driven) blogger will begin to think like a marketer, a business owner, a never say quit person.
        Think about why you have stopped following some, and why you continue to follow others.
        I could go on and on. Is this enough for now? 🙂

      • I hear ya.

  3. This is Great Debbie! Your posts always bring a smile to my face. But, this one made me downright giddy. Fun!

  4. Gah!!! Sorry Donna I called you Debbie. (We had a woman in our office named Debbie & it rolls off my fingers.) A thousand apologies!

    • LOL, no problem at all Greg. It reminds me of something a good friends always sayes, “I don’t care what you call me. Call me Donna, call me Debbie, just call me.” 🙂


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