Day 120: May Day Parade
Sunday, May 1, 2011
What a day. Freezing temperatures and intermittent snowflakes couldn't keep people away from the 37th annual May Day Parade on Bloomington Avenue South between 25th Street E and 34th Street E. This was my first time at the event and you could say I was captivated. Despite temporarily losing the feeling in my fingers, I managed to take around 750 photos. Even though I didn't choose a very colorful photo (in the traditional sense) for my photo of the day, the costumes, bikes and puppets were every color of the rainbow. But, fire beats everything, in my opinion. A band a top a rolling shack, definitely beats its competitors in my set. Scott and I started and ended the day with smiles on our faces which is a great day indeed. We walked to Midtown Global Market (6+ miles) and warmed up with great food (a Camel burger for Scott) from Safari Express and then headed to the parade route. Along the way, Scott discovered pain in his feet which limited his mobility for the rest of the day. Once we arrived to Bloomington Avenue, we were greeted by Jeffrey the French Bulldog and his cute little owner. Another great people watching moment was when we saw a 2-3 year old boy discover his love for a Golden Retriever to the amusement of everyone around him. Then came the bikes. The tall, mutant bikes of the Black Label Bike Club, which I later discovered started in Minneapolis with the Hard Times Bike Club. I enjoyed the puppets and symbolism of the day. It was fun to see such a varied group of people (ages, races and ethnicities, etc) all take part in the same event. The end of the parade was a little strange with the traditional politician handshaking, moments after anarchists were passing out Haymarket Riot literature. This makes three RT handshakes for me and my first greeting with Al Franken, who paused gave me a big smile and then patted me on the back. Thanks, Al.
In hindsight, I wish I had studied up on this year's parade story because it may have been more meaningful and I would have realized that it had four scenes. I also wish I had someone with me to chime in on how this year differed from other years. Also, next year I hope to move around a bit more and get shots of the parade from different angles. Today, a new Nivens Family tradition was born. Let's hope next year is warmer.