Web Log Entry #0045, Saturday, February 15, 2003: Day 89
Anchorage Sunrise: 8:44am Sunset: 5:46pm High Temp: 29° Low Temp: 21°
Below is a picture of the 2003 Fur Rondy Parade. This year it was a guy in a bear suit. He'd walk along, and parents would encourage their kids to give him a hug. So, we're teaching prey-sized children to hug the big, white bear? Does anyone else think this is a bad idea?
No really, there was a real parade. It reminded me of events back in Prescott, Arizona. Parade entries were strictly limited to "anybody willing to show up". There weren't any giant balloons in the shape of cartoon characters, and the most elaborate floats involved fake beards and funny costumes. One entry appeared to be just a guy who thought his 80's Firebird was really cool, or maybe he was lost. The fire department blared their sirens and threw candy. One of my favorites was the Red Cross, who decorated a trailer like a "Star Trek" shuttle craft, followed by a few Klingons and people in Star Fleet uniforms throwing candy. It had nothing to do with anything else in the parade, but they were having a good time, and the spectators didn't seem to mind. The local car dealer showed off a bunch of new cars, and threw candy. It was like Reverse Halloween; people in costumes walk by and give you candy. Must be a karmic balance thing.
I did note that a group marching for peace wasn't allowed to participate. The official reason was that the parade rules prohibit entries that were "political." Of course, there were several entries from the local military bases. I guess these weren't political because they weren't carrying signs saying "Give War a Chance!" It would be cynical of me to suggest that if the Peace Movement poured millions of dollars into the local economy, they wouldn't have been too political, so I won't even mention it.
The biggest drawback was that the whole thing lasted about an hour. This wouldn't be so bad, but it took half an hour to reach the viewing grandstand, where I'd staked out a good spot about half an hour before the parade started. So by the end of the parade, I'd been sitting or standing in the cold for two hours. Even bundled up I decided I had enough, so I passed up on the snowshoe baseball and ice bowling to go home for a hot mug of tea.
(p.s. - While waiting for the parade to start, a police officer drove up across the street and handed cupcakes to the waiting kids. I only mention it because of the marketing potential of pastries called "Copcakes." )
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© 2003 Evan M. Nichols