Random Parade Leader


Created and Directed by: Charlie Todd
Executive Producers: Charlie Todd, Andrew Soltys, Alan Aisenberg, Juan Cocuy, Justin Ayers
Co-Producer: Isabel Lopez
Associate Producer: Dave Szarejko
Director of Photography: Justin Ayers
Camera Operators: Mike Doyle, Christian Mortensen, Chloe Smolkin, Spencer Thielmann
Camera Assistant: Erin Trout
Still Photography: Arin Sang-urai
Sound Mixer: Harris Karlin
A2: Dylan Goodwin
Production Assistant: Chris Jobson, Mariah Wilson, Kendall Payne, Wes Ortiz, Tucker Markus, Tyler Orr
Editor: Matt Braunsdorf


Parade Leader: Anna Callegari
Marching Band: Patriot Brass Ensemble
Trumpet: Andrew Kemp, Cody Rowlands, Max Boiko
Mellophone/Band Leader: Steven Behnke
Tenor Trombone: Nicholas Grinder, Karl Lyden, Timothy James Robinson
Bass Trombone: Simon Wood
Sousaphone: Bradley Madsen, James Rogers
Percussion: Matthew Hurley, Thomas Jorgensen
Parade Participants: Alex Jaloza, Franco Martinez, Isra Elsalihie, Kate Maloy, Nathan Oesterle, Noriko Sato, Onyi Okoli, Saaya Miyazaki, Timothy Oriani, Tommy Sturges, Yaribel Castillo, Trinidad Montalva, Nicolai Kabana, Sindy Belle, Cody Knox, Lauren Kneteman, Bria Murphy, Christopher Augustin, Roxanna Sheidaie, Jen Chen

For our latest mission, a woman in a marching band uniform stands on the sidewalk with a sign that reads “Parade Leader Wanted.” When a stranger agrees to help out, a huge parade led by a marching band emerges from around the corner and follows him wherever he goes. The band plays “Jingle Bells” and is followed by a cast of characters that includes two yetis, Frosty the Snowman, and two guys holding giant flags that read “Random Parade.”

This mission was made possible by CaringCrowd, a crowd-funding platform where people come together to fund global health projects.

Enjoy the video first and then go behind the scenes with our mission report and photos.

The mission started with Agent Anna Callegari standing on the sidewalk on 5th Avenue and 28th Street, holding a giant sign that read “Parade Leader Wanted.”

Several pedestrians politely declined the offer to lead a parade. Eventually one guy said, “Yeah, why not?”

After he accepted the baton and hat, Anna blew her whistle and the parade emerged from around the corner.

The parade followed their random leader wherever he decided to go. In this case, our leader was heading to his office.

The parade was led by a marching band followed by a dozen people marching with sleigh-bells.

Bringing up the rear were two yetis, Frosty the Snowman and two guys holding flags that read “RANDOM” AND “PARADE.”

The flags were my favorite part of the mission. It was so much fun watching people on the street discover them. “What is this? Oh, it says “random parade.” I guess it’s just a random parade!” We got great reactions from everyone we passed. Turns out, everybody loves a parade.

Eventually our parade leader made it to his office and had to say goodbye. “Thanks guys. I feel great!” he shouted as he took off.

It was time to find a new parade leader.

We had close to 20 different parade leaders over the course of the day.

Our youngest parade leader.

The dog declined to wear the hat.

Skateboard leader!

Citi Bike leader!

Here’s a photo we spotted on Instagram taken by someone from their office.

It was a super fun day, and everyone we met was awesome. Thanks to all of our parade leaders!

Mission Accomplished



Production photos from photographer Arin Sang-urai (photo credit for all photos on this page): Mission Photos; Behind-the scenes photos

Our past holiday videos: