Jan Seeley rode in the Safari Park “float” in the Hollywood Christmas Parade after winning our Facebook contest. Jan has been a frequenter and loyal fan of the Safari Park since it opened and even did her rehab for her double knee replacement surgery by walking through the Park regularly.
On November 23rd I received a Facebook message from Matt Steele, the Social Media Planner for the San Diego Zoo. A few days earlier I had entered a contest on the San Diego Zoo’s facebook to tell why I would like to ride shotgun in the San Diego Zoo Safari Park’s entry at the Hollywood Christmas Parade. I read some of the other entries and thought they sounded much better than mine, so I didn’t give it much thought after that.
I was so surprised when I received the message giving me the particulars for the Parade, and that I would be riding in the cab of the Photo Caravan truck. I had to read it twice before I realized I had actually won! What a wonderful surprise.
I was scheduled to meet the crew on Sunday at 10:00 am at the Safari Park, but took a short detour to visit the new cheetah cub first (see post Spotted Bundle of Fur), and is he ever cute. Anyway, I met up with the crew as scheduled and once the van was loaded up we set off for Hollywood.
We arrived in Hollywood and found our way to the celebrity red carpet location, where we unloaded gift bags for all the celebrities, which was pretty cool. Everything was beautifully decorated in reds and greens, there were make-up artists working, and the dressing room for the Grand Marshal was all set up. By the time we had checked out the red carpet area the rest of the crew were beginning to arrive, so we all went to the staging area to decorate the truck for the parade.
It was really fun watching everything get decorated and come together. The Photo Caravan truck was decorated with wreaths and had a rhino statue climbing on the cab. Then our own special cheetah celebrity, Amara, arrived and took her place on the back of the safari truck. I think she thought the people were all there just for her entertainment.
It was great fun watching the people watching the parade. They waved, smiled, and cheered us on when they saw the San Diego Zoo Safari Park truck with the rhino on top. And then they saw the cheetah and their faces change from smiles to wonder that there was a “real live cheetah” on the truck. The celebrities might not agree, but I think Amara was the real star of the show!
The whole day was great, it was a long, cold, windy day, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Thank you so much everyone for such a great opportunity, it’s something I will always treasure. The whole crew was fantastic and made sure I was well taken care of.
If you don’t frequent the San Diego Zoo and the Safari Park, you should, and if you have never been, you need to go. We have the best zoo in the whole world and it’s a wonderful magical place to visit.
Note: You can watch the parade on Friday, December 10, at 8 a.m. on the Hallmark Channel, and on Friday, December 10, at 8 p.m. on the Hallmark Movie Channel. The parade will also be syndicated throughout December, playing at various times and dates depending on your area. Check your local listings.
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