General Assembly (GA) is the annual gathering of Unitarian Universalists. It is held in different cities around the country and this year, Portland got to host. GA being in my town, I decided to go this year. I avoided the hefty registration fee ($285.00 for early bird, $330.00 normally) by volunteering.
My volunteer position is on the Ambiance Committee. We are in charge of decorations for the meeting rooms, but most importantly, the Banner Parade.
The Banner Parade opens GA. All the attendees gather together in a huge hall and each church designates a person to carry their banner. They all march through the hallway, while music is playing and people are clapping and it is all so dramatic and fun.
Organizing the banner parade was also fun. People were in good moods as the assembled their banners and waited in line for the parade.
The parade was fun as well. All the people marching to the music and waving as they carried their banners. I got to stand inside during the parade so I could see all the multitudes of congregations represented.
After the parade, everyone deposited their banner and the Ambiance Committee got to hang them up. We had a great system, which made hanging simple and used all 18 of the ambiance committee members. It was hard work, though. There were 320 banners which took us 3 hours to hang. I was very sweaty and tired by the end, but it was worth it to look up and see the results of our hard work. And the banners looked beautiful.