Posts Tagged ‘parade’


What stated out to be an overcast day in St Augustine on Easter Sunday ended up being a beautiful day to troop the parade.  Everybody met up at the Old Jail and started dressing out for the day. Dawn was thoughtful and brought some ribbons for us to wear to show support for Duke who need our prayers and support this past few weeks.

The sky cleared up and it was time to step off and begin our trek through St Augustine. We walked and waved and the crowed as it always has showed their support of the 501st with loud applause as we marched by the long line of people that came to see this wonderful event.

Below are some pictures taken by Summer Leigh Franklin

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Photographer: Summer Leigh Franklin



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Wow, thats all one can say about this troop. what a day we had as a Squad. The weather cleared up and turned out to be an awesome day for the Parade and the Festival.

Our day started in the parking lot at around 7:00am. Troopers gathered up and we visited with each other telling our stories from past events. Bonding time as we all get ready for the parade. its always nice to mingle about and chat it up before an event.

The parade started around 10:00 am and we had a blast giving high fives and posing for some photos for the crowds that lined the streets. Its always nice to here the crowd wind up into a loud cheer as we round a corner. it just brings joy to my hart each time I here it. Means we are doing a good job and that the goal.

After the parade some troopers departed, some dressed down as did it so I could help handle for the troopers that toughed it out and stayed in armor for the better part of the day. We walked around and posed for photos and chatted it up, had some food and drinks.  The people were great and loved seeing the troopers in armor and kilts. this throws some people though and they just have to ask “Why Star Wars and Kilts, Whats the connection?” we really do have a good story other then we were invited and we love to come. maybe we should work on a good back story to tell lol. We trooped from 10:00 to 5:00 when the last trooper was ready to take a rest. He did however head back to the festival for more fun and entertainment.

The Festival is packed with great Celtic music, it fills the are and helps set the mood. you can’t help but feel like you have gone back in time a bit as you hear the music and see everybody in period clothing. Each band takes the stage and plays with all there hart for the fan. But none play with as much hart and soul then Albannach. This band starts with a punch and does not stop until their set is done. you can not stay seated as the drums and bag pipes get the blood moving. They are quit good if i say so myself. you can check them out here on facebook.

What makes a great show even better. The band inviting Storm Troopers to the stage for their last song. There is nothing better then being on stage dancing and having a great time with such a high energy band. Albannach you guys rock!!!

Here are some photos of the days events.

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image5Keystone Heights, destination next. After doing the Pecan park Troop. I loaded up and headed to Keystone Heights for the Parade. This would be the first time I have been to Keystone for anything so this was truly a new troop for me. I brought with me my step daughter and her friend. they would handle and take pictures for us.

We got there pretty early so we walked about and visited with other troopers that lived out that way.  As the sun started to fall from the sky we headed back and started dressing out. once all the troopers were geared up and ready to go we headed out to our position in line. we stood around and took some photos and chit chatted about past troops and other sorted tales of trooping.

The parade master walked by yelling “7 min to go” and everybody started getting in position and ready for the walk. the Sun was down and the night had fallen on the streets. The darkness was lit with the festive lights on the float in front of us and the houses we will soon be passing as we troop on.

Time to go, everybody lined up and we started our slow walk down the street. the crowed looked like shadow people as I tried to see them as we passed each block. The colorfully lit house help make the people stand out as they cheered and waved as we marched by. Its was funny as we marched I kept hearing people say “Look it’s the Star Wars” that just sounded strange and funny to me. The march was not a long one and I really enjoyed the limited sight I could see through my bucket. before I knew it we are done and I could relax.

Thanks to the kindness of the float in front of use they offered to give us a ride back to the starting point so we would not have to make that walk back. That being said as a stormtrooper is can be difficult to sit, Another troop and I kind of balanced on the edge and held on for life as we rolled on down the road. After a few moment of hanging on for dear life we were back to the staging area and we all piled into the lodge where we stored our gear and dressed back into street cloths.

To round the night out some of us troopers hit the local BBQ house and had a great meal as we chatted it up and had a good time. In all this was a great trooping day. I was able to knock out two troop and had a good time doing so.

Here are some of the images below.

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Fun in the sun in St Augustine for the 2013 Easter Parade. Here are some photos of the day and It was great to Troop with the 501st and Squad 7.

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Photos By Jacqueline Hallé

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Group Photo with 501st Members – I am on the right.

So for my 3rd Troop I was able to march in the Gator Bowl Parade in downtown Jacksonville. This was a mile long troop and it was packed with spectators on both sides of the street. This was my first parade since marching band in high school aside from the Disney parade which was more a production then a march and then it was not one on this level. I had a blast hanging with all the 501st members and learning what to do and not do. Everybody was friendly and helpful which is one reason I am proud to be a part of the 501st the people are very open and inviting.


Even the Empire has it’s cheerleader. black and white strips and me second to the right with pom poms.

This would be the first troop where I would run head on with photo fans. I had been warned that when you do a troop like this what would take 15 min to walk a mile could turn into an hour because of all the photo ops.


Yep that me with a pom pom cheering on the empire lol.. I am the one on the left

On this day the photo op’s  started the moment we hit the staging area. It seemed the cheerleaders like guys in uniform with all the photo request we got, I think they would be surprised to know there are some women under some of them buckets lol. but I was taken back by how a crowed of people will flock to you. I had seen it a little  handling for the Art Walk but this was a big crowd and were in the parade along with us. But it was enjoyable and interesting all at the same time.


Stand around waiting for the 3:00 pm step off for the parade. poor Vader (Michael Joiner) had to wear his helmet longer then the rest of us.


That would be me, Rob and Mongo (I think its Mongo) hitch’in a ride on the ST Augustine Ghost tours bus


here we are marching down the street. I would be the one on the left behind the young Jedi.

After standing around for an hour in costume we started lining up and I was lucky enough to march along side Vader. I stood to his right and tried to keep pace but being a first time and my own excitement I would tend to walk ahead of Vader from time to time and would have to slow down. I liked the fact unlike the Disney Parade that we could walk over to the fans and give high fives or a wave to the people waving back to you. some of the guys, the one who have done this for years really interacted with the crowed. they were great as they danced around and posed for photos but I was good to give high fives and try to keep pace with Vader. I must say for a mile long troop once we got started walking it didn’t take as long as I first thought. Before I knew it we were done and gathering up for some last min instruction.


This is me on the long walk back to our cars. I was walking with Mongo, Rob and a few others. we were all tired and ready for some water and shade.

Once the short meeting was done we had options to take a shuttle bus (with crowed) or walk back a few blocks from the parade. So I decided to walk the mile back and get back to the staging/parking grounds. It seemed longer walking back then the parade itself. The other guys were correct and I followed their lead whenever we got close to a crowed of people we put the helmets/Buckets back on and like clock work were stopped for photo. even being tired and feet hurting it was nice to stop and see the smiles on the kids faces as they got a chance to get a picture with a real life Stormtrooper.

I had a really good time at this event I was happy to talk with so many of the other members and I am still trying to remember all the names and faces.  So this was Troop number 3 and I plan to do many more so if you want to  read about my new adventures you can sigh up on right side of the menu bar. you will be sent an email anytime I post to this site.

Take care

‘Trooper Out


501st Members group photo with buckets on.

Photos courtesy of Rob Wojczyk

here is the “uncut” feed from the parade on Channel 4. Look for us just after the 36 minute mark…
http://www.news4jax.com/news/Uncut-Gato … index.html

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