Parading around an Oval shaped Circle

June 12, 2012

314177_897791286949_1932285279_n Parade the Circle is unlike any parade I’ve ever seen*. It doesn’t celebrate one nationality or contain militia or marching bands. It’s an event sponsored by a museum and a neighborhood development corporation and yet it’s wildly popular amongst people of all ages and interests. Robin VanLear, the parade’s creator, realized her vision for a traveling art exhibition in 1990 and in thirty years it has grown into a not-to-miss event in Cleveland, where over 75,000 people packed the Circle on Saturday.

IMG-20120609-00448 As an info desk volunteer at the Cleveland Museum of Art it was no surprise to me that I was asked to participate in the eventful Saturday. Originally I was signed up to distribute programs, perhaps encourage people to sit down and stop complaining about the heat already. Then, I found out there was a desperate need for balloon arch carriers. It was then explained to me that this was a very important job and I should take it over that frivolous assignment of pamphlet distributor. After donating hours of my time and incurring three dozen scratches up and down my arms courtesy of my super uncomfortable, yet super adorable outfit (see above, and above left), I can totally see why there was a shortage of willing victims. Especially since I didn’t see my face in the Plain Dealer on Sunday. Not being famous is a dealbreaker.

IMG-20120609-00445 No one, not even the director of visitor experiences, whom I love very much and is one of the reasons I cannot say no to such volunteer opportunities, knew what the twelve of us dressed in these nonsensical costumes were supposed to be. The kids on the sidelines sure did, as I was cat-called “pasta strainer girl” many times. At least they could tell I was still female under all that sharp plastic, brown shredded fabric and branches sprouting from what may have actually been a spray painted gold colander.

IMG-20120609-00439 While the costume was less than enjoyable and carrying a tin-foil wrapped brick attached to forty balloons that would have rather sailed off into the wind than stayed in a perfectly formed arch, far away from sharp objects was challenging at best, I’m pretty sure I already volunteered myself for next year. I may have also volunteered to make the costumes, which in that case, will be pajamas with no headgear. (Its crazy what I can say “yes” to when I’m dehydrated and hungry and museum staffers are pushing Trader Joe’s cookies and sweet ice tea into my face!)


For more photographs taken by professional University Circle staffers, go here.

For more information on the hilarity of the parade and to substantiate my claim that 75,000 people packed Wade Oval last weekend, go here.

*Disclaimer: I’ve never seen the Halloween parade in Greenwich Village, which I hear is absurdly amazing. Next year!




One Response to “Parading around an Oval shaped Circle”

  1. Ahhhhh I used to LOVE Parade the Circle!!!

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