It’s the 4th of July in Columbus, which means….Doo Dah!
This years motto is Slaying Political Dragons with Satire Since Dark Ages of 1984 (The Official Flyer is below)
This can mean one thing – the fun, silly, strange, weird and wonderful people of Columbus are marching in the streets. With the same bad national joke for the last 2.5 years the political satire was less, but still lots of photo ops were there for the taking.
New Orleans does parades better than any other city in America, possibly the world. For Mardi Gras season alone there are more than 75 parades.
Making the props and floats for the parades is a big business. The largest company in this industry is Kern Studios.
In 1947 Blaine Kern was hired to make a float after someone had seen his work on a mural. From there the business took off, not only for New Orleans parades, but other cities, as well as Universal Studios and others.
Housed in a 300,000 square foot warehouse along the Mississippi River, the company produces amazing props.
It is here they come up with the idea, and with some creative construction methods, build their visions.
Today most are made out of Styrofoam, covered in paper mache.
From this base, and with talented artists they complete the huge pieces.
The final floats are massive. Because the Mardi Gras parades can last hours they even have porta potties hidden in the middle as the float participants can be on them for 5 hours +.
Cleveland has always had a large population of people from throughout eastern Europe, including Slovakia. As a result there are a number of festivals coming from those regions.
For this cold Saturday we went to check out Kurentovanje’ – which is a Slovenian festival to chase away winter. Held at the Slovenian National Home on the east side of Cleveland, the hall was full of activities.
The band was playing polkas. They were very talented, and the audience appreciated it.
Numerous ladies had recently made headdresses
The highlight of the day is the parade. I have found for the best photos it is imperative to go to the staging area as they gather.
I am not really sure about someone sitting on his ‘throne’ with a shield, skull staff and motorcycle helmet, but it was just the beginning of the strangeness (and fun).
This pleasant young lady was soon to become the devil.
There were a number of groups dressed in historic ethnic attire.
The Krampus crowd came back from Christmas.
Another band was warming up, or just trying to stay warm.
The Polish apples?
Finally the parade started…. Slovenian flags were everywhere.
The parade featured all the ethnic groups, as well as the local high school drum and dance team.
The Kurent wranglers were keeping them all in line.
The Kurentovanje Festival and Parade was yet another great celebration. Hopefully they do indeed scare winter away soon.