First Night Austin

Mathews joined the Grand Procession to 2010!

Because there are many creative and energetic people in the Mathews family, we had a fantastic presence in the First Night Austin art parade!

The theme for this year’s parade was “Illumination,” and Mathews was paired with CapCityKids, a nonprofit group supporting homeless children.

At the December 1st brainstorming meeting, Mathews art teacher Ms. Sara Jo Belknap and her spirited team of volunteers hatched their concept: build a rocket ship to represent Mathews in the New Year’s parade. Everyone worked together at the school on December 5th and 12th, and put in countless extra hours rounding up supplies, transporting materials, setting up and cleaning up, and working on pieces of the project in their own homes. The group scrounged and donated PVC pipe, fabric and “fabric-esque” materials of all kinds, bubble wrap, cellophane, aluminum foil, bamboo sticks, and lots and lots of tape.

From brainstorming, to engineering, to banner painting, to bamboo cutting, to Space Stick designing, to rocket embellishing, delivery, launch and piloting down the middle of Congress Avenue — through a multitude of obstacles, including 30 mph wind gusts! — the whole operation was a perfect group effort.

Coming together, sharing together, working together, the Mathews presentation had us succeeding together on a city-wide stage, with attendance of over 65 participants, including Ms. Kinkade, who helped propel our 18-foot lighted rocket past thousands of citizens to Auditorium Shores. The group was fronted by a banner proclaiming our theme, “Shoot for the Stars,” and participants were outfitted with all kinds of spacey costumes and glittery star masks, and carried illuminated Space Sticks to light the way.

This was the third consecutive year Mathews has joined the First Night Austin festivities, and it just seems to get better every year.

Click here to see a video of the Mathews procession in action!
For more videos, use key words “Mathews Elementary” and “New Year’s Eve” in your You Tube search.

Ms. Belknap extends special thanks to the many contributors of supplies, labor, time, (= love), with special kudos to the David Bell family, the Belknap family, the Perkins-Plowman family, the Johnson family, Pat Johnson and Mani family, Luke and David Ocasio, the Sheridan-Estrada family (yes, that was her on the front page of the Austin American Statesman), the Baskin family, the Appel family, the Morgan family, Solomon Lowenstein, the Breston family, Dillan and Marion Cimbala, the Kurt Sauer family, the Cartright family, Don English, Julie Noble, Quinlin Taylor, Ms. Kinkade and all the volunteers from CapCityKids (and the ones she forgot to mention, but truly appreciates).

There were many more who braved the wind, parking, and crowds to walk with us in the parade and we are so glad they made the effort!