I fell in love with the Northside Fourth of July Parade the moment I saw the father and son bananas. It rained for much of the (awesome) festivities, after which a swarm of soaked participants and onlookers filled Melt Eclectic Café. There, waiting in line, I met the multi-generational bunch. In an effort to dissolve the slight awkwardness I leaned in and said to dad, “I bet people must say to you all the time, ‘Let’s split’…”
The power of the parade was in the withering look he gave me—shade from a dude glaring through a hole the size of a giant Chiquita sticker. That’s the Northside parade: unpredictable, organic, and just the right blend of sincerity and irreverence. It’s like a Bernie Sanders speech delivered by Deadpool. It gives people of all tribes—zombies, goth yodelers, and bananas alike—license to embrace themselves, especially when dressed as somebody else.
It’s the kind of parade where marcher and watcher are constantly intermingling, from the lope down Hamilton Avenue to the puddling humanity by Jacob Hoffner Park, where you can buy popsicles and dance to live music long after sundown with friends and neighbors—some of whom, this year, are sure to be dressed as Bernie Sanders and Deadpool.
Northside Fourth of July Parade, Noon, northsidejuly4.com