If we were looking for a chance for the club to make its presence felt in its natural community, then the annual Wimbledon Winter Wonderland parade is certainly an opportunity not to be missed. Heralding the begining of the festive shopping season it consists of a number of streetside events, a parade and a firework display roughly in that order, and as usual the club had a large and lively presence. In terms of numbers we were actually the biggest there with representatives from all of the teams, from the 1st down to the smallest 'Under-6' or however young we go. Haydon was there of course and it was also the first public showing of the new AFC Wimbledon inflatable, purchased by those decent chaps at the Womble Underground Press. This was placed on the forcourt outside the station and it really looked quite decent as you came out of the station.
Answering the appeal on the OS I had offered up as many flags as might be useable and these were put to use decorating a Paul Strank lorry that carried Haydon, a Christmas tree and a least some of the first team. The parade itself featured the local theatre, various schools and other community groups. IThe parade as a whole wasn't the most visually exciting of spectacles it has to be said, but it did generate lots of interest and our young players were very vigorous in their distribution of AFC Wimbledon flyers and other information! Well done to everyone who helped out, whether on the FITC, the parade or handing out flyers. Unsung heroes all...
Some pictures of the nights festivities are included below:
|The WUP inflatable provides a great advertisment for the club as well as fundraising. The FITC were charging 50p for a couple of shots which has started the inflatable on its fundraising mission!|
|As it happened the flags seemed to be pretty much the right length for the sides and rear. Its amazing how many uses the 'We Are Wimbledon!' flag has been put to.|
|'Dons March To Glory' at the rear seemed pretty apt considering all the AFC Wimbledon teams following behind on foot.|
|The '2002: A Dons Odyssey' flag might have had a few scratching their heads though. Good job they were all on the 'wrong' side of the road though|
|This is a quick snap as the parade went past the station on the way to Centre Court. Note the superb Christmas hat sported by Haydon|
|The parade ended in a side street near the Theatre. The players have all abandoned Haydon who is shortly left to repell a small sally by diminutive Chelsea supporters.|
|Haydon the Womble - March To Glory!|