Being in parades is so much fun. People just throw love at you and it makes you feel so good. While there was no Rice Festival when I was growing up, the band always led the FFA Parade behind the horse riders carrying the flags. Sometimes we had to dodge those horse presents to protect our white shoes.
Now if you have ever been in any part of Louisiana, not just New Orleans during Mardi Gras... now those are parades!!!!! Many folks don't like the craziness that goes along with Mardi Gras but there are small towns away from New Orleans that put on day parades and some are geared to families. It is so amazing at the kind of love, excitement and "throws" you can get form these. And EWWWWW in the horse presents. Bet it was difficult to dodge those when you have to stay focused on a straight line and performing while playing your instrument and possibly for some doing it in 100 degree weather.