While the volunteer role of announcing for Coronado’s 4th of July parade is fun…..it ain’t always easy. Mr. Al Laing announced in front of the Library for 43 years….when I then took over his spot. Over the past 20 plus years, we’ve organized and provided professional sound and staging for our announcers and feature veteran folks presenting (before this, the announcers were using only a mic and 2-speaker-horns and reading from a script for two hours….a bit dry at best).
Today we have sponsors who underwrite the costs of professional sound equipment and use announcers that know the drill, how to entertain, work the crowd, keep it safe and get the kids involved (i.e. providing colored chalk to draw ‘Poop Circles’ in the street…for the horses…(oh, that’s what those are…).
In general, they work the five hour day to promote safety, be informative and provide a wonderful experience to both locals as well as visitors. Because announcing looks easy (though it ain’t), I want thank our volunteers and call out one of our own for props.
Five years ago, Ms. Grace Sylvester began helping her dad announce in front of McP’s, and she will be letting him know he’s now fired! THAT’S how good she has become. (Okay, maybe she’ll let Dad muddle along…kind of a probationary thing!)
The following short video demonstrates an uncommon savvy-ness to ‘make something happen’ when presented with a challenge. This kind of gift eludes most of us, and certainly me, but is flat out owned by Ms. Grace, as you will see.
Of course, adding music to major events is certainly a value (we saw your smiling faces during the recent Bike Circumnavigation, on the home stretch of Alameda, when we blasted Taylor Swift from the front lawn….we waved and danced and you all waved and danced back, it was sweet); but real performance art still requires some innate talent to take it to the next level….and that is what Ms. Grace did.
Imagine, you are an announcer with 1,000 people in front of your station, and challenged with a 20 minute delay gap in the parade (called ‘Dead Air’ in the profession)…and as an announcer, ‘you gotta fill baby!’
Here is how Grace did it:
Submitted by Robb Huff
This article was edited in July 2019 to add: Learn more about Robb Huff