What’s new this year?
This year’s theme is I Am Robot. The parade’s pièce de résistance includes a squad of 12-foot tall robot puppets encircling and dancing around a cart that will produce a massive mechanical butterfly. The rolling performance will repeat more than 30 times during the parade. Puppeteers dressed as giant eyes, ears, and mouths (to represent robots’ sensing functions) will mingle among the crowd. It takes 100-plus volunteers six weeks to create the theme puppets.
Organizers are also introducing a VIP section. Attendees who come dressed as robots can pay $25 to enter at 10th Street, bypass lines, and march with the parade’s Grand Marshall and a DJ.
The parade takes on a different vibe in response to what the city is feeling each year. “It’s always a surprise. That’s the fun of it -- what captures people’s imaginations, what they want to be,” Fleming says. “Some years are very light; some years are very heavy. It’s an election year, so I do expect some politics in the parade.”
Fleming says gawkers can expect to see sexy sirens performing a song and dance routine about voting, and a theatrical recreation of the Tesla orbiting the earth. The latter involves a cherry red Tesla, and 20 West Point cadets dressed as Earth-toting astronauts.