Goodness, that was a chilly parade! And windy–my dodo mask made me into a high profile vehicle, and my “Dodos for a brighter future” banner acted like a sail, so I felt at times like I was going to literally fly down Bloomington Avenue.
Despite the weather, though, the sidewalks were packed with people (some of them shivering under blankets, but all of them having a great time). It was fun to spot friends and neighbors in the crowd, wave my dodo banner, and generally be foolish in public: MayDay has more than a little of the Carnival spirit, and it’s good to step out of the lines and poke fun at the day to day world every now and then.
It’s a bone-cruncher of a parade, though, especially when it’s chilly; my joints are a little sore from all the mini Dodo Parades we did when we stopped mid-block, snaking around our marching band (in black and white polka dots) behind the head dodo on stilts. You don’t necessarily feel it while you’re in the parade, especially when the band is playing “Roll Out the Barrel,” but after it’s over, ouch!
From inside the parade, it’s hard to get a sense of everything that’s going on. I tried to see a few of the other sections while we were lining up–I was especially interested in the cornucopia the “Pay Up!” section was making–but I mostly saw my own gang of coyotes, dodos, and mandrills. They were an enthusiastic group, though, and well-led through the workshops and in the parade by Lindsay McCaw, puppet artist extraordinaire. It was fun to see how people interpreted the basic costumes in so many interesting ways; a big part of the fun of MayDay is putting a personal twist on the basic building blocks, and then fitting everything together into one big show.
A happy MayDay to all!