Smartphones become a Parade must-have

By Anthony Joseph
UJW Staff Writer

Sheridan Radcliffe had worried that a foot surgery would prevent her from attending this year’s National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade. But armed with only a smartphone, Radcliffe was able to navigate the festival using mapping applications to reduce redundant movements — she was able to walk less and experience more.

“I used the maps app on my phone to plan out my route and make it easier to navigate through the festival,” Radcliffe, 56, of Main said during her trip to D.C. to see the festival for the first time.

During this year’s festival, smartphones became the must-have accessory for attendees navigating their way through crowded streets, taking photos and videos, and finding friends or family in the crowd.

“I’m attached to my phone. I use it for pictures and sharing,” said Tracy Daves, 42, of Texas as she snapped photos of the parade along with her boyfriend. “I love would be lost [without my smartphone].”

Attendees said that smart phones—now more than ever—helped them to plan their trips. Others were able to coordinate via text message with friends or family, get step-by-step directions to help them navigate the busy streets. Some parade goers even said that they were able to pay for parking with their phones.

Chandra Hampton, 35, a Louisiana native now living in D.C., peeked over the shoulders of family members while capturing the parade on her Android device.

Hampton was posting the pictures to social media sites like Facebook and Instagram for her friends to see. “Since I’m not from [D.C.], it’s a way for people to see what’s going on in my life,” she said.

Coordination and communication were used on smartphones and helped 52 year-old Denis Morgan. Using his iPhone, Morgan messaged his son to find the perfect location to take his photo.

His son, Josh Morgan, a wide receiver for the Washington Redskins, and is the parade’s Grand Marshal. Denis said first brought Josh to the parade when he was 10-years old. Back then, he said, Denis Morgan used a film camera to capture video, now he uses the HD camera on his iPhone.

“Technology is awesome,” Denis Morgan he said while he was texting his son for his location.


Founded in 1975, the Washington Association of Black Journalists is an organization of Black journalists, journalism professors, public relations professionals and student journalists in the D.C., metro area. WABJ provides members with ongoing professional education opportunities and advocates for greater diversification of the profession.