Columbus – March 2019 – St Patrick’s Day Parade

Do you know where I can find a parade?




Just follow St Patrick, and his snake shaped staff.





The annual St Patrick’s Day Parade was in downtown Columbus.




It included (I think) the flags of all the counties in Ireland.





The Irishman of the Year – I think the dog should be the winner.





The ‘official leprechaun’??? Love to see that on a CV/Resume.





They dyed the horses legs and tail green!





While most of the marchers were from the Shamrock Club of Columbus, they had a few others including these youth Irish dancers (from Columbus – not Ireland).





There were a few cool costumes.





A couple of antique fire trucks.









The Columbus Police & Fire Department Pipes and Drums were the best musicians in the group.





And with that the parade was over. Sorry Irish – the Slovenians in Cleveland had a much livelier parade (and I have neither heritage so it is an unbiased opinion)







Cleveland – March 2019 – Chasing Away Those Winter Blues, Slovenian Style

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.








Columbus – December 2018 – Krampus Returns

It is that season again – Krampus! For those who have forgotten, Krampus is a horned figure used to scare little German kids into behaving during Christmas so they get presents.

Columbus has a small, but colorful, Krampus parade.

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Cleveland – November 2018 – Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead)

In Mexican culture the Day of the Dead is celebrated the first two days of November. This celebration honors the memory of those who have passed on.

Presented by the Cleveland Public Theater and Artistas Latinos Unios, Cleveland has had a Dia de Muertos for 14 years.

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Most participants paint their faces.

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While it might seem morbid, it is in fact a joyous occasion that is intended to dispel fear of death and embracing the cycle of life.

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In Cleveland many non Latino people participated.

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While most had face paintings, traditionally hand made clay skulls are also used.

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The Cleveland Public Theater is housed in a former church. Inside they had a number of exhibits set up.

This young lady had one honoring her family.

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As did this young lady. Note in the back numerous photos and offerings to her deceased family members. Throughout the church/theater and outside in the ‘pop up’ cemetery were a number of such altars (known in Spanish as ofrendas)

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One of the event coordinators was ready.

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It was a really cool event, with lots of great looks.

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Stylish and macabre at the same time.

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Finally it was time for the procession to begin…..

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One of the bands lead the march.

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Anyone who had signed up and was in ‘costume’ could participate.

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Some clearly had spent more time putting together their look.

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One of my favorites.

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Many entire families participated.

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This young lady had the face painting but the rest of her family wore the masks.

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Happy skeletons!

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The origins date back thousands of years and coincide with the annual harvest. It combined Aztec and Christian practices.

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Today is has become so popular in the United States even places like Party City sell merchandise for the celebration, although these ladies clearly did better than going down the local Party City.

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Not sure why, but it seems every Cleveland parade has a number of people on stilts. But what’s not to like in a 10′ skeleton lady coming down Detroit Avenue!

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More stilted skeletons.

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A few had more simple masks, which this guy used to accent his great suit.

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Historically in Cleveland most of the Latinos were Puerto Rican, but they too have embraced the event.

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Also participating was a Horse Drawn Funeral Carriage. Note the very stylish job on the horse’s hooves.

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The carriage had a mannequin complete with mask.

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Dia de Mertos was a fantastic event – I can’t wait for next November. Look for one in a city near you.

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Pittsburgh – July 2018 – Back to the Furries

It’s July – It’s Pittsburgh – That can only mean one thing – THE FURRIES ARE BACK!

 

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You see them everywhere – in the hotel.

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Wandering the streets.

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Looking cool on the escalator.

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Purrrrr (not so sure about the skeleton suit though – didn’t have the nerve to ask).

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Where could all these furry people/animals be going?

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Cramming into the elevator.

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Calling their other furry friends.

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Looking out for each other with giant eyes.

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Hey lady – a little help with my tail please, I am in a hurry ….

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To gather together to get ready for the highlight – The Furry Parade! (to be fair I found this balcony where I could see them gathering and was promptly kicked out as they said it was off limits because furries don’t like to have their photos taken with their heads off 🙂

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Kicked out of the overview, we made our way downstairs to find a good spot for the parade. A few furries were still making their way to the hall but still stop for photos.

It is immediately obvious if you are going to dress in a furry animal outfit you want your photo taken – so it is the easiest gathering anywhere to get people/animals/whatever to pose.

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And with that the lead furry bangs his symbol and the parade starts.

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Strutting their stuff.

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High fives from this (fill in the blank – I don’t know)

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Some came close by to say hi.

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Ta- Da

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A paw wave was very popular too.

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More ‘Ta Da’

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Hoping the rose wasn’t for me.

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Name that animal.

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The band (yes they were playing their instruments in their furry suits).

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This couple had matching wing suits. She (?) took a tumble and the crowd went ‘oohh’. When he (?) helped her (?) up they went ‘ahhh’. Fur Suit RomCom.

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A local.

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There were a few ‘non furries’. While this, and other things we did this weekend, were repeats, they are totally worth seeing a second time. And thus began our repeat weekend in the Burgh.

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Columbus – July 2018 – It’s Doo Dah Time Again

July 4th in Columbus can only mean one thing – It’s Doo Dah time again – let’s have a parade.

As usual there is some political satire.

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Some play on words (read the sign)

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Characters

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Apparently now since Mexico is off limits we now get our weed from Canada

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The block party was going full tilt.

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More characters

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Primed for the parade.

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The toaster car lady in a moment of reflection.

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Clearly the saddest thing this country has recently done is the separation of children at the border – you knew this would be called out today.

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More characters.

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The wrestlers are here every year, but always welcome.

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For some it was just too much.

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The Grand Marshal.

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An eclectic band.

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I think we missed her at the washboard music festival a few weeks back.

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One of the ‘art cars’

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Miss Liberty made an appearance.

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An alien made it across the border to join the band.

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Even more characters.

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Mixing sci-fi and political satire.

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Mixing middle aged hula dancers with zombies.

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The neighborhood (Short North) is undergoing tremendous growth where they are tearing down 2 floor buildings along High Street and replacing them with 8-12 floor buildings. All of the construction is causing much chaos in the area, and making just walking around tough with all of the closed sidewalks.

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Not really sure.

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The whole stupid MAGA thing has spawned a number of parodies.

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They may protest but they are as patriotic as the rest of the country – they just believe it could be better for all.

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A dancer from the Rocky Horror Picture Show burlesque group.

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Even the Swing Dancers of Columbus were making statements this year.

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And with that the zombies headed home and the parade was done.

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