What makes a parade successful? Is it the floats; the decorations on them, the number of them that pass or the interaction that they have with their audience?
Or is it the diverse cultures or societies that take part in the parade showing off their uniqueness.
Could it be the marching bands? And let’s face it; no parade is complete without some form of marching band. In Banff there were the proverbial Scottish pipe and drum band, complete with kilt regalia and a show-band with twirling flags and synchronised choreographed dance moves.
Or could it be the cause of the parade, such as when we watched the Canada Day Parade in Banff, where they were celebrating 150 years of being well -Canada.
What about Christmas parades or local May Queen parades or possibly Gay Pride celebrations?
Now, although I’m sure that you will agree that all of these are important but to me it is the crowd that makes a parade successful because without them there most probably wouldn’t be one!
To me it is the people who line the streets and come out in their hundreds to watch and cheer the participants on. The people who wave flags and cheer.
We watched the Canada day parade and the crowd was huge. They lined both sides of the main street; they dressed in Canadian t-shirts, (even my lovely husband and myself bought one each to show our solidarity) draped themselves in flags and painted flags on their faces in support of the day, which was colourful, and created an exciting atmosphere.
They climbed up on roof tops and pushed into tiny spaces edging out those who had been there a long time. It was lovely to see but their response to the trucks and floats was to be perfectly honest disappointing. They seemed to enjoy just being altogether; greeting friends and family, waiting for the parade to begin rather than supporting the people who were taking part in the parade.
They were all dressed up to be noticed but their response wasn’t as enthusiastic as I thought it would have been, as they seemed to be extremely proud of their country.
Don’t get me wrong, there was some celebrating but I don’t know- it was just a little too reserved for my taste.
It is to me the crowd’s excitement and willingness to cheer all of the floats rather than the one or two showy ones and to make the celebration an experience. For me that is what makes a parade successful.