It’s that time of year when the cicadas roar, the days are warm and the nights are cool, and snurrie flops over in the middle of any given room after walking only 2 feet from the heat. Wellington comes to life for sure in the summer with some kind of free festival or event every weekend – sometimes you have to choose between a few things to do. One of the highlights is always the Cuba Street Carnival Night Parade.
There’s something about parades that always makes me all emotional. Happy, sad, pride, excitement etc all at once – strange. Nostalgia wells deep with memories of marching in veteran parades and watching the old soldiers faces, or smuggly assuming i’d have the best halloween costume in the annual Halloween parade for another year (and win 5$!) come back back to me. You can’t beat a good parade!
Thats why, cast and all, we went to watch the parade.
I must say that NZ parades are eclectic at the best of times and the randomness makes me even more curious. Parades always have some excitingly bizarre entries of some group or another just wanting to walk down the street and have people look at them. Sometimes it’s political or social agendas, others are community/ethnic groups and then there are the freaks. My personal top 5 from this year:
5) The 0800 mopeds soccer game. this consisted of a guy on a moped dragging a 20′ length of artificial poly turf on which two shirtless guys ‘played’ soccer – representing Brazil and Argentina. of course they were escorted by 2 scantily clad 15 year old girls for no discernible reason. clever idea… strangely executed.
4) The wellington Chinese cultural group that appears in nearly every Wellington parade. they always cheer me up with their dragon – especially the young kids. Missing this year was the lady who usually carries the ‘ball on a stick’ (excuse my lack of cultural knowledge) thing that leads/taunts(?) the dragon. She’s always so happy and cheery to be running around with a ball on a stick. She rocks and I miss her!
3) The drunk or ‘crazy’ or maybe social commentarian dude who decided to cheer the NZ army tank (who was supported by presumably army soldiers in mini skirts???) with big whoooops, then a big two handed flip off and “fuck you fuckers!”. Right on my brotha!
2) The “Falun Dafa Is Good” group marching band. There are lots of things that are good, but this has to be one of the goodest, and how could they not, with two banners to remind you so? I don’t know much about the Falun Gong, much less about the Wellington group, but hell, if they can put together a marching band with 60 year old Chinese ladies playing snare on official “JinBao” (with the classy large fonted – Made in China brand right across the bass drum head) drums, I’m thinking of joining up. Go Go cult marching bands!
And after much deliberation,
1) The Island Bay blind dude. I can’t remember his name, but he’s pretty darn cool and gets his way around Wellington better than I can. Confident and with a wicked sense of humor, he’s a true IB local and a favorite of the students of TLC. What we can’t figure out is if he was actually part of the parade, or just really really lost.
Kahurangi had a total blast and spent pretty much the whole parade smiling and wildly waving his arms and kicking his feet excitedly. In fact he got so hyper it got to the point he was so tired that in a split second of silence he crashed to sleep. He looked like a wind up toy set on warp speed! We – and the people all around us spent just as much time watching him as we did watching the parade.
He seemed particularly taken with all the latin music groups. Maybe we have a budding percussionist in our midsts?
The good old North Hills Marching Band with whom I paraded many streets is having an ‘alumni band’ this year for all the old band geeks in September. Not quite a parade, but it would be fun to go to if we can pull some funds to go. Kahu would be sure to have a laugh at his mom strapping on the old gear for a number or two I’m sure. Of course we still think it was the Christmas parade that made him decide to come out early. There are sure to be many in his future.