Columbus – March 2018 – Women’s Final Four Bounces into Town

College sports is a big deal, both socially and financially, and every city longs to host the finals of the basketball season. This year the NCAA Women’s Final Four was held in Columbus, and as with all major sporting events now they have a festival to accompany the games.

One of the highlights for this weekend was an event called ‘Bounce’, which gives thousands of kids a free basketball and T Shirt and allows them to dribble along the street next to Nationwide Arena up to the Convention Center where there was a number of activities for them (as well as adults).

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To coordinate such an event takes lots of volunteers, who all seemed to be having as much fun as the kids.

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But eventually they were set loose – the sound of basketballs dribbling reverberating off the buildings.

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The little ones even maintained their focus.

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Soon the street was filled with the kids and their parents.

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Once they reached the convention center there were unique skills tests waiting for them.

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A highly energetic host lead a game of ‘basketball musical chairs’, requiring them to dribble around the circle in the middle of the court – when the music stopped they had to run down, make a basket and head back. Easily the host was the most amusing part of the day.

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I am not certain the city makes the money back they invest in the games, but it does draw some attention to the city, for a few days at least.

 

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Columbus – December 2017 – Krampus

This year I learned something new, the legend of ‘Krampus’.  According to the legend (and Wikipedia), Krampus is a half goat- half demon who during the Christmas season punishes children who have been bad. Over time the legend coupled Krampus with Saint Nicholas to encourage children to be good.

For a full description please see the Wiki link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krampus

Krampus celebrations are a big deal in Germany, Austria and other countries in the region. This was the first I had seen any celebrations in the states, and while small, was entertaining.

The group gathered in the a parking lot in the Clintonville neighborhood of Columbus.

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Noise makers and elaborate costumes were the order of the day.

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Apparently the Grinch and Mrs Grinch fit the bill as well. The costumes were great.

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Three horned ladies.

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The legend says they use sticks to ‘whip the children into behaving’. Clearly not a 21st century approach.

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The parade went down the sidewalk for about 3 blocks.

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I behaved myself.

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Another Krampus monster.

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Mrs Claus has a new look, along with apparently a Clint Eastwood fan. Hopefully this celebration catches on and grows larger each year – it is a nice change from the repetitiveness of the usual Christmas celebrations and festivals.

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Cleveland – August 2017 – One World Day

The Cleveland Cultural Gardens is  a beautiful area in Rockefeller Park that celebrates the diverse cultures that make up Cleveland. Once a year they celebrate One World Day, where all of the 40 different countries that have gardens (or are working on them) celebrate their culture.

The individual gardens had extra touches added to them.

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We spent time with learning about the culture of Slovakia from the man who lead the building of the gardens. While some, such as the Italian and German have been there for 70 years or more, a few have been built in the last 30 years.

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The Hungarian Garden had a ‘Budapest Cafe’ set up, complete with music.

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A couple of Czech women in their traditional attire.

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Most had crafts from the homeland.

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A shuttle was provided for those who were late to the parade, like the Lebanese, who were entertaining even on the shuttle ride.

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One of the Russian marchers.

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Vietnam is currently working on their garden, and were well represented in the parade.

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Each country brought a flag for the day that were displayed at the main entertainment stage.

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The leaders of the Romanian group.

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There were a number of youth groups who are continuing to carry on the traditions of their country.

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Young and old marched together.

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After the parade many posed for photos in their gardens.

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The Serbian group had great outfits, with cool shoes.

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With the food, culture and gardens it was a great day for One World in Cleveland.

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Twinsburg, Ohio – August 2017 – Third time for Twins (and Triplets)

The first weekend in August means the crowd that puts the Twin in Twinsburg are back! This year’s theme was showing pride in your heritage, state, or hometown.

So for those with double vision, the Double Take Parade…

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Columbus – July 2017 – Doo Dah is HUGE, THE HUGEST EVER

With the orange man in office the annual satirical 4th of July parade in Columbus took on an entirely new level – it was Making Parades Great Again, The Hugest, and all the other stupid comments that have been recently made were lampooned to the fullest.

Superman on a mini bike

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A band

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The Orange Man’s wall

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Legalize smoking kale apparently

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What world are we in

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Hula Ladies

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Swing Dancers

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Plenty of Zombies

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More political satire

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Tweet Tweet

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Jugglers

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Still some patriotic look

 

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Even with the burlesque ladies

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That is one large drink umbrella

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A few furries made it over from Pittsburgh

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London, OH – June 2017 – Cobra Club Gathering

In the early 1960s small British car manufacturer AC partnered with famed automotive genius Carroll Shelby to build the Cobra. This fabulous 2 seater has remained to this day one of the best examples of a sports car ever built.

A series of events over the years has lead to a large ‘replica’ market. We caught up with the Cobra Club at a truck stop near an interstate west of Columbus as they prepared to parade into the small town of London. With nearly 100 Cobra’s it was impossible for me to find the replica’s from the originals. Either way it was an impressive site, these spectacular sports cars gathered amongst the trucks.

 

Cars were from all over the U.S. and Canada.

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A Daytona – original or replica???

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The parade awaits…

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They are off…

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Enthusiastically…

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Some proud Canadians…

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An unusual site for those not expecting it, these classic cars sailing across the Ohio soybean and cornfields.

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Avon, OH – June 2017 – Duct Tape Parade

The company that founded the ubiquitous ‘duct/duck tape’ is based on the small Cleveland suburb of Avon. Since 2004 they have had a festival and parade celebrating the many uses of the tape.

Having read a few different places that this was one of the best parades in America we headed up to check it out. While there were many creative uses for duck tape, the event was nowhere near as interesting as the Twins Day Parade, Doo Dah Parade, or the Parade the Circle (and that is just in Ohio). Still it did give opportunities for some nice photographs

 

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