Richmond united in Silly Parade
on April 4, 2011
More than 100 people gathered on Saturday at the corner of 23rd and Macdonald Avenues in downtown Richmond to make the 5th Annual Silly Parade a big success.
“I love it here!” shouted Janie Anker, who was decked in lush purple. “There are so many serious things going on in Richmond and people have to have fun, have to laugh.”
Along many other Richmond citizens, she joined the 5th Annual Silly Parade on Saturday, which, to be precise, was actually taking place for only the second time. The idea behind the event was to create one parade for all of the city’s communities, bringing everyone together and giving people a break from serious matters and problems they deal with every day. “It’s all about having fun,” said Michael Beer, the event’s main organizer.
Indeed, Richmond citizens seemed happy to act “legally” silly during this one day. Some of them dressed as chickens, others put on the Halloween costumes.
A big group of women enjoyed wearing mustaches.
“It frees me, it frees my inner mustache self,” said Andrea, the group’s leader, who preferred to go only by her first name. “If the world accepted female mustaches more often there would be more smiles, and we would all just be happier.”
Among other individuals marching in the parade: a huge Socrates promoting education, musicians from La Rondalla del Sagrado Corazon which played traditional Spanish serenades and members of the Guardian Angels, an organization that helps communities prevent violence.
Sometimes however it took a while to understand the idea behind the costume.
“I’m all that and the bag of chips,” said Jolynn Parker, who was throwing potato chips into the crowd.
Around noon, the colorful parade reached the corner of 23rd and Nevin Avenues, where participants could enjoy lunch and chat with their silly-looking friends and neighbors.
Michael Beer, who was wearing a colorful wig, said the event was a big success.
“It was bigger this year,” he said. “Everybody worked hard preparing it, and I very much appreciate it, and people who watched that appreciated it. When we put it up on YouTube, maybe Poland will appreciate it, or Denmark, or even Berkeley!”
Richmond Confidential is an online news service produced by the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism for, and about, the people of Richmond, California. Our goal is to produce professional and engaging journalism that is useful for the citizens of the city.