Friday, May 11, 2007

Mayday Parade 2007

One of the great cultural traditions in Minneapolis is the Mayday Parade sponsored by In the Heart of the Beast Puppet Theater every year since 1975. The event has two parts: a parade down Bloomington Ave. to Powderhorn Park where there is a celebration to say goodbye to winter and welcome spring. The parade also has two parts: the first part has a theme and the second part is the "free speech zone" where politicians and activists march. This year it was wonderful weather and great fun.

This year's theme was "Somos Aqua" (We are Water)

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MayDay Poster Design by Sandy Spieler

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From the ITHOTB website: Before memory, there was water. The water that covered the earth in primordial times is the very same water that feeds the planet and its inhabitants today. We begin the Parade with an homage to the wisdom of Water as the original source of creation.

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Two ancient snapping turtles, witnesses of time, lead the way.* These ancestors carry the histories of humankind on their strong shells, and support the Earth entirely, according to many cultures' creation stories.

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Powerful serpents represent the entwining ebb and flow of tidal currents. Within them thrive fish, snails and denizens of the deep. The spirit of water is embodied in jellyfish, living beings that are but a few cells thick, which pulse with the heartbeat of the sea.

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Our Father of Waters, with his singing flotilla, is inspired by the rhythmic, musical quality of water. The boats play with the idea that we are all carried by or supported by water,while the image of Old Man River runs through many traditional songs.

Our Mother of Waters is inspired by various water goddess traditions, including Chalchiuhtlicue, the Aztec
goddess of running water and springs, and protectoress of all new-borns.


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LIKE A GIANT UMBILICAL CORD, our public waterworks connects us to Water -- and to each other --through a vast network of pipes. In Minneapolis, our water pipes connect us directly to the Mississippi River.... Our clowns celebrate the many ways we use water everyday. But, like us, they also use water na•vely and mindlessly. Their silly antics affect even the parade's huge, imposing pipes.

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ARE YOU THIRSTY? TIENES SED? THE FIRST HALF OF THIS PARADE SECTION depicts an ad campaign for a fictional water bottle company called H2NO -- complete with cheerleaders, marching band, and a plastic water bottle goddess -- to promote the "need" for water sold in plastic bottles.

2 comments:

belledame222 said...

That is lovely.

alphabitch said...

I'm homesick.

Thanks for posting these (and thanks to belledame for posting a link to them).