Question: What’s better than a parade?
Answer: A fast parade.
I was in the Canada Day parade. And it went by so fast, I hardly had time to notice it.
The parade is supposed to be “family and community oriented.” But you wouldn’t know it from all the rules and regulations accompanying that claim. Parade organizers tell the entrants the many things they “must” and “must not” do.
“Nothing is to be thrown from any parade entry!”
“Forward motion must be maintained at all times–stopping is not permitted.” (I’m surprised there wasn’t another exclamation mark after that regulation.)
The entrants were hustled along by these “required pacers” like a waitress at closing time. There was no time to acknowledge the crowd, no time to perform stunts or dances, no time for kids to pet the animals. There was no time to give out candy, since we couldn’t throw it. Some families had waited an hour, their kids lined up along the curbs, so they could get a good view of the rush of “Canadian colour” as the parade flew by in record time.
The parade organizers missed the point completely. I know this because, later, I was talking with someone who had been in the parade with a performance group. We both noted the speed of the parade. She said that her group couldn’t perform any of the moves they’d rehearsed or give out their pocketsful of suckers because they didn’t have time. I said, “Why didn’t you just perform your moves anyhow.” And you know her answer? “We did that last year and got in trouble.” You get in trouble for stopping and performing… in a parade. Apparently, the most important thing about a parade is the speed, not the spectacle.