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Ferris Beuhler’s Day Off in November

It seemed like a simple enough request – appear with my daughter on a float in the North Michigan Avenue “Festival of Lights Parade”.  North Michigan Avenue is the most exclusive shopping district in Chicago and to start the Christmas holiday shopping season, they have a large night time parade – bathed profusely in brilliant light.  Sponsored by a variety of organizations including Disney and the Harris Bank it was well organized and professionally staged.  Our float, sponsored by the Museum of Science and Industry commemorating their “Christmas Around the World” display, was staged next to the Newberry Library under and archway of searchlights rotating about the sky.  The float was kind of reminiscent of the “beauty parlour” scene in “Grease”, with ladies cascading symmetrically up vertical tiers to a proscenium – the ladies in this instance being girls from the Thistle and Heather Highland Dancers, their fathers strategically stationed onboard.

The Parade Getting Staged
The Parade Getting Staged

We proceeded down Oak Street before the official parade start on Michigan Avenue – the storekeepers at Prada and Coach seemed impressed with our float. Spectators from the Dining Room at the Women’s Athletic Club to the window offices at Illinois Center were all watching and waving, and we waved back at them.  We even passed by the spot where Oprah Winfrey filmed her TV show on the day when Michigan Avenue was closed; we could not find evidence of any pilgrims paying homage or erecting shrines to commemorate that event, though one would imagine that there still is time for this to occur.  On a dark night under bright lights with cheering audiences, it was a festive experience for all of us onboard. 

It kind of seemed like the parade scene from “Ferris Beuhler’s Day Off” albeit North Michigan instead of Dearborn Street, and sun down instead of noon hour, but hey…  You know, this is Chicago, and stuff like this seems to happen all the time.

Now about Ferris Buehler – the house that was portrayed as a garage that housed the infamous Ferrari Daytona (a fiberglass replica) that slipped out of a window and down a hillside is up for sale.  In real life, it is a house and was designed by a student of Mies van der Rohe.  Its asking price is $2.3million. 

For me, I’m just fine with the Ferris Buehler parade experience instead.

Posted in Community Organization, Pop Culture.