Global Invasion Day only comes once a year (the Saturday closest to August 15th, to be precise), so why not celebrate to the extreme? In honor of the annual Toy Soldier holiday, members of Division #2358 The Red Tide convened in South Florida for a two-day event deemed Creation Weekend.

The event kicked off at The Ft. Lauderdale Museum of Discovery and Science on August 14th. The soldiers explored the museum while spreading propaganda and fun cards, talking up potential new recruits, and participating in a Toy Soldier-themed scavenger hunt. The scavenger hunt list included such items as a salute with a stranger, something made of steel, a robot, a laser, and Planet X. While at the museum, the giddy group learned a great deal in the Water Works exhibit, journeyed to Mars in a rover simulator, got an exclusive star lab presentation, and was even interviewed and photographed as “special visitors” by the museum staff who was very excited to welcome such a unique and cheerful troop.

Following the museum fun, the soldiers traveled together to a legendary ice cream parlor called Jaxson’s. The infamous eatery has been featured on such notable networks as ABC and Food Network and is most famous for a dish called The Kitchen Sink: an actual kitchen sink overflowing with ice cream and toppings. While the gang was not hungry enough to tackle the potential diabetic coma, vast quantities of ice cream were enjoyed, including a jumbo treat called The Chocolate Suicide taken on by Program B and Machine D. While eating, the winners of the scavenger hunt were chosen via voting, and the winners were Dahlia, Captain Logica, and Captain Nurse Risa, who had called themselves the Cotton Candy Crew. When everyone was stuffed with sweets, they returned to homes, hotels, and hostels for the night.

On day two, the Toy Soldiers gathered at South County Regional Park, flag planted and banner hung, for a day of outdoor festivities. Games included red robot (a renaming of red rover), Nerf capture-the-flag, raindrop relay, two truths and a lie, canyon, water balloon relay, and Star Wars (a water and Nerf gun battle). There was also much entertainment with scented bubbles and Pop Rocks. Neko the Weird won a storm trooper kite for being the last soldier standing in the Star Wars game. Mini Scout Betty Jo picked up the most pieces of garbage at the end of the day and received a kite, as well.

The two-day event concluded at Captain Nurse Risa’s house with a BBQ and an ice cream cake to celebrate Program B and Betty Jo’s birthdays. Soldiers stayed well into the night, playing Upwords and watching Invader Zim, as nobody wanted the wicked weekend to end. Over the course of Creation Weekend, all of the soldiers bonded and found solid friendships, bringing a further sense of strength and unity to the Floridian division. As the soldiers departed one by one, each expressed great levels of enjoyment at a most epic of Global Invasion Day celebrations. The question most repeated: “When can we do this again?”