Local girls youth group makes ‘sweet’ float for Schenectady’s Holiday Parade in Scotia

Members of the Al Tabari Court Youth Group work on their Ginger Bread House float Thursday in Scotia
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Members of the Al Tabari Court Youth Group work on their Ginger Bread House float Thursday in Scotia

SCOTIA – The Al Tabari Court #28 Youth Group worked hard putting the finishing touches on their float this week for Saturday’s Schenectady Holiday Parade.

The group’s float this year features a large gingerbread house, oversized candies candies, lollipops and boxes wrapped to look like Christmas presents, a lamp post lit with fairy lights, lines of large gumdrops and more. The girls said they all came up with the idea or a gingerbread house together. 

The group has participated in Schenectady’s Holiday Parade since 2016, the group’s Director Desiree Chaires said.

“It’s been great, the girls worked very hard on it and it’s all handmade,” Chaires said.

The youth group is designed to build character, health and positive self-image though dance and drill team exercises cultural and educational experiences and community service for girls ages 6-17. The group currently has 13 members, Chaires said.

The Al Tabari Court Youth Group is sponsored by the Al Tabari Court #28 Daughters with support from the Al Tabari Temple #121 Nobles and Eastern Parkway United Methodist Church.

The group made their float using items like cardboard, boxes, paper, foam, and “lots and lots of tape,” said 10-year-old Mykahlee. 11-year-old Nalycia said she is excited for the parade and wants to see Anna and Elsa there.

The girls practiced one of their drills in between wrapping boxes to become presents on the float. The group stepped and capped in unison, a skill they will be able to show off while walking in Saturday’s parade.

Photos (5)

Members of the Al Tabari Court Youth Group work on their Ginger Bread House float PETER R. BARBER/THE DAILY GAZETTE
Members of the Al Tabari Court Youth Group work on their Ginger Bread House float PETER R. BARBER/THE DAILY GAZETTE
Grayson Caillouette, 8, right, adjusts decorations on the Ginger Bread House float PETER R. BARBER/THE DAILY GAZETTE
Naomi Fennicks, 9, wraps boxes in Christmas wrapping paper to go on the float PETER R. BARBER/THE DAILY GAZETTE
Grayson Caillouette, 8, adjusts a candy cane on their Ginger Bread House float PETER R. BARBER/THE DAILY GAZETTE

The group created the float in the Scotia home of Stacy Caillouette, mother of several of the girls.

“The girls want to win, they love dancing, it’s something they love to do,” Caillouette said. “Its something that really brings the girls together, and it’s something safe they can do. They have a lot of fun team building, and being creative.”

The float also had math involved for the girls, taking measurements of the pieces of their float and making sure they would all fit like they were designed to, Caillouette said. She explained the girls want to make their float bigger and better each year.

This year’s parade has over 100 participants, almost double the amount from past years, said District One County Legislator and vice chairman of the committee for tourism arts and special events Rich Patierne.

The parade steps off at 5 p.m. from Schenectady Community College and comes up State Street. This year, for the first time the parade will have a number of performances from participants in front of Proctors. The parade then turns onto Lafayette Street.

The Holiday Parade this year will also have a pre-parade block party before the parade starts at the corner of State and Jay streets, and will have live music and holiday characters.

“Its one of the biggest parades in the area,” Patierne said, “and it’s really exciting to see all the performers and the floats and to see the smiles on everyone’s faces.”

Categories: News, News, Schenectady County, Scotia Glenville

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