by Eric Griswold
Hey people! It’s time to put on your gaudy finery and march along the streets with fire spinners and kazoo players…. in winter? Who would be crazy enough to do such a thing? Riverwest people, that’s who.
The parade started in 2006 as a collaboration between the IFT (the local Burning Man people) and MAMA (the Milwaukee Area Magic Alliance). It seemed the perfect time of year for people to come out and express themselves and scare away winter. So we contacted some fire spinners, scraped up some king and queen outfits, and built a harlequin puppet on a stick.
Over the years the parade has taken different routes. We always like to include any new place as a way of welcoming them to our neighborhood.
This year we will meet at 7PM on Tuesday, March 4 at the Uptowner (Humboldt and Center). About 8PM we will start our grand march along Humboldt Boulevard to the Gig. Then to the new place, Milwaukee Beer Bistro. From there we will march to Linneman’s for further festivities. Sigmund Snopek and the Cajun Rangers will play music. We will symbolically kill the Winter King and Queen and resurrect them as the Spring King and Queen. There will be beads and costumes, drinks and merriment!
There is no cost for this event. It is a gift from the volunteers and venues. If you want to help out, you can always volunteer to carry the harlequin puppet for a while.
A few tips: Wild costumes are OK. If you can’t self-express on Mardi Gras, when can you? All parading is along the public sidewalks. No open containers when parading. This is a serious City ticket and could harm the event.
Other than that, just show up and have fun!
by Eric Griswold