People celebrating community through nature ... |
Best Processions, Readers Digest
America loves its parades. Among the more than 50,000 flag-waving, baton-twirling, band-marching celebrations of community spirit every year, here are six we can't resist:
- Procession of the Species Celebration, Olympia, Washington: The only people having more fun than the 3,000 nature lovers in flower and animal costumes every April may be the 30,000 spectators taking it all in.
- Midnight Independence Day Parade, Gatlinburg, Tennessee: These revelers can't wait till the Fourth, so they start the night before, with entertainment in the streets. At midnight, the main event kicks off with bands and giant balloons.
- Alaska Day Festival, Sitka, Alaska: On October 18, 1867, the U.S. acquired "the last frontier" from the Russians. To mark the anniversary, men grow period-worthy beards and women wear hoopskirts and bonnets.
- Golf Cart Parade, Palm Desert, California: In this self-appointed golf capital of the world, the carts make perfect floats—and may arrive at this October spectacle decked out like a Cadillac Escalade or Bob Hope.
- The Coldest, Loudest, Shortest Chinese New Year Parade in the World, Butte, Montana: Ten-degree temperatures don't stop this city from honoring its Chinese community every year. A gigantic multicolored dragon, a gift to the state from the people of Taipei, leads the way; for the finale, 10,000 firecrackers usher in the New Year.
- Barkus Parade, New Orleans, Louisiana: Canines get their own event during Mardi Gras. Past themes include Joan of Bark and Tails from the Crypt, with registration proceeds going to animal shelters.