Certainly, few people made as big and bold a difference in Parade of Spirits as Natalie Zaman did in 2016.

She appeared in our participants’ group on Facebook, asking if anyone could offer any photos to accompany our event’s mention in her upcoming book, Magical Destinations of the Northeast. Of course we had community members happy to oblige and Natalie lived locally enough that we were able to get together for breakfast.

Chris Carson, maker of many Parade icons (including Das Mädchen, Es Meedli, and our Krampus Moon) had said he wanted a break from “being” Das Mädchen in the coming year, and we thought it was a great idea to throw this, and Es Meedli’s “identity”, into our community. (Of course, many of you have seen the outcome of this already, and it made 2016 and important year, and is a tradition we will continue.) But it was Natalie Zaman who said “Yeah. That’s the day before my birthday — sure, i’ll get in that fourteen-foot costume.”

And so, while her book was in the works — along with the other numerous irons Natalie always has in the fire — she practiced being Das Mädchen for the first time, with Chris’ help, in June.

And she practiced again in December.

In between, she worked out with a trainer. Really! And, when it was Parade time… there she was!!

As seen in earlier news, this was the first year that a Medal was designed for the wearers of both the Es Meedli and Das Mädchen costumes. Natalie is the first recipient of the Das Mädchen medal (unless Chris made himself one, which knowing Chris, he may not have.) He had done the original cast for it by the time Parade had hit, and he got to show me, by the light of his Krampus Moon.

And, Claudia got to present it to Natalie when they had their interview!


(Claudia also got the surprise gift of a Hecate necklace from Natalie, which is now one of her prized possessions.)

Their talk, particularly when they touch upon witchcraft, is very interesting. We are so grateful to know Natalie and she embodies our spirit so perfectly it’s like she’s always been with us. (But she certainly WON’T be Das Mädchen this coming year… will YOU?)

Listen to the conversation as it is embedded below, or on Soundcloud.

(Transcription being prepared…)