May 13th pictures: Mayday Parade

Eight days late — eight dollars short? Just think of all the froyo I could buy with $8. Damn.

Last weekend I was up in the Twin Cities and got to see the Mayday Parade on Sunday. It had been postponed for a week after flooding in the park where the parade culminates. The rescheduled date turned out to be a fabulous and sunny one and the parade was full to bursting with dancing, allegory, vegetables, drag, and people dressed as all manner of cloven-hooved animals.

1. We parked by one of Minneapolis’ esteemed art cars. This neighborhood always seemed to have a disproportionate lot of art cars. I can’t say this is one of the better ones, though. The tape is just a little sloppy.

2. The parade ends at the lake, where there are many vendors and delightful barnyard spectacles.

3. After the parade there’s some kind of hippie ceremony and here are the hippie bleachers where people can flock afterwards to watch.

4. The fabric fence enclosing the blanket bleachers was pretty cute. They could be turtles, or huge red and green eyes.

5. Cottonwood seeds were flying through the air.

6. A man and his balloon bouquet.

7. A paradegoer, and Minneapolis’ finest arrives to set up a barrier at the curve in the parade route. The barrier will wobble throughout the event.

8. Many paradegoers were near as colorful as the paraders themselves.

9. Before the parade started, people were unleashing their chalk masterpieces on the street.

10. I told you the people were colorful.

11. One of the dudes handing out programs. It’s really hard to find these guys when you want a program; they should really look more conspicuous.

12. I like to imagine that a slightly intense exchange is going on here. “What is this tomfoolery,” Striped Shirt says. “Aluminum ducts are not boas, young man.”

13. But, like sun breaking through the clouds, the moment lightens thanks to the diplomatic skills of Silver Bow Guy.

14. The program hander-outers march off to continue their duty.

15. The disoriented, impatient crowd linger in the street, unaware that there is a strong correlation between the parade not starting and them standing in the way. (No, not really, I’m not sure what the holdup was.)

16. Before I saw this guy, I thought perhaps people on these absurdly tall bikes mounted and dismounted the bikes via some kind of matter-transporting device. Guess not.

17. The tallest bike yet.

18. At long last, the parade hit our corner. There was this guy getting his picture taking. I don’t know who he is. But I thought it would be appropriate to get a picture of him getting his picture taken.

19. Here are the signs proclaiming the parade’s theme.

20. The first float had oil rigs and spills, outlets, dancing petroleum products, and Mother Earth trailing behind carrying a corpse.

21. This was all explained in the aluminum duct guy-endorsed program, but I only skimmed it because I’m a monster.

22. I like the implications of this costume: Outlet guy can plug his hands into his face.

23. Each year I see people out on this rooftop. These people didn’t come out right away and I wept at the wasted opportunity.

24. Mother Earth rounds the corner.

25. Then came the cranes. I think they were supposed to be mopping up the blood and tears and oil and stuff.

26. Then it was time for the willowy deer contingent.

27. These were some of my favorite costumes from the parade.

28. Then they stopped to dance. Or duel. Or duel-dance.

29. Then some people chanting “Pump up the heart” came through with a heart as promised.

30. Then dudes dressed as swirling water came by with goldfish children.

31. The first of two Aztec dancing troupes danced by then. It was impossible to get a good picture of them, though. I had to crop these something fierce to cut out all the other photographers who rushed up close to them to get much better pictures. THANKS GUYS.

32. This lady was burning pine needles or something. It smelled piney, anyway.


34. Sloth child and sloth mother.

35. Sloths, just pushing their sloth agenda.

36. This little boy was so excited by everyone who came by. I don’t know if he just wanted to shake hands or was hoping he was going to get candy (there wasn’t much of that) or just reach out and touch greatness.

37. See? Awww.

38. And here is well-known character Vinegary McBlueHair (?).

39. More sloth propaganda.

40. Then there was a very excitable brass band. Trumpety here couldn’t even take the hot grooves standing.

41. And he’s back up.

42. Then there was a healthcare-themed float.

43. This head wound patient was very adamant about building co-op care.


45. Sunshiney musical brigade.

46. And then a maypole and some dancers came by. After this, they swept through the crowd with the pole.

47. Stilty bird lady

48. Then dance troupe #2 came by, and they were awesome.


50. And then the first but in my opinion greatest of about four pantomime horses trotted onto the scene.

51. My favorite part was that people were almost as excited by the pantomime horse as by real horses.

52. Children love the horse.

53. Then the mute, terrifying green people came through.

54. I’m not sure at all what the story behind these guys was.

55. They gave away free vegetable plants at the park later.

56. The most spirited little parader.

57. Broccoli folk.

58. Carrotbeards.

59. That small child looks less than thrilled by the proceedings. I should mention we were at the end of the parade route, so some of the kids actually in the parade were looking quite tired by this point. The kids watching it weren’t doing too great by this point either, I should add. Not enough candy? Too long? Heat fatigue?

60. Leaf Dude implores the children to do or not do something.

61. One of the more elaborate dragons of the parade.

62. A better look at the dragon head.

63. The sun even made an appearance.

64. A scrappier, fabrick-ier, adorable-r dragon.

65. Just your run-of-the-mill green-wigged man in drag pushing a toilet full of hibiscus.

66. Compost monster!! This was one of the best parts of the parade.

67. Cool goblin people.

68. Uhhh…dragon dino-monster?

69. Yet another dragon.

70. Then some hula hoopers (hoopists?) came by. They pulled a guy out of the crowd to join in the fun and he proved to be a more than able hoopist. That would have been my nightmare. I can’t hula hoop to save my life.


73. Then it was time for the steel drummers.

74. A ladybug!

75. Most elaborate, sparkliest costume of the day.

76. Not sure what this guy is supposed to be — he was with the other insects — but it was pretty cool anyway.

77. And then there was another hula hoop group.


79. The little boy was still reaching out.

80. Adorable zebra bikes.


82. And then it was the end of the parade, as evidenced by this sign declaring it the end of the parade. It actually said “End of Parade Story” which I guess is why there was stuff after this (one last storytelling float?). The crowd wandered off and mingled into the parade at this point, so it was hard to tell what was going on.


7 thoughts on “May 13th pictures: Mayday Parade

    • Ohhhh…but she only has six fuzzy limbs! Ladybugs just seem way friendlier for a Mayday parade. I am going to go ahead and keep thinking that is what she was, even if she really was a black widow.

  1. I love that you went to the May Day Parade! It isn’t too far from our house and a few years back we biked over there to watch it. It is such a quirky parade and I love that it shows the diversity of this city. We didn’t go this year because it was rained out and then fell on Mother’s Day. But next year I’m certain to bike over with the kids as they love parades! Great pictures!

  2. Impressive fantasy and creativity among all these many parade participants! Who is organizing such an event? And is there any other purpose than to celebrate the spring and have a lot of fun?!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s