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Let Love Rule: Baltimore should embrace the Love Parade

May 6, 2013

DSCF2103We don’t have to win the Super Bowl to have a great parade.

The Love Parade, put on by Fluid Movement as part of the Transmodern Festival on Sunday should be the city’s biggest parade. It is the parade to celebrate Baltimore’s defining weirdness. Marching this year from the back lot of the Current Gallery up Franklin Street to Charles, down Charles to Center, turning on Howard and pausing under the Mayfair theater, which set the May Fair theme of this year’s event, the parade featured the Barrage Band—an Eastern European-inflected brass band— and the 901 Arts Drumline, in addition to people on stilts, in make up, crazy hats, and women wearing red and white striped dresses and yellow wigs who stopped traffic. (Photo by Noah Scialom)

This is the kind of thing that the mayor and the city should celebrate. If it is doing its job at all, the Bromo Seltzer Arts District should put everything behind this parade as a chance to bring together all races and all classes in a celebration of the diversity of the city’s arts.

The parade this year stretched about a block and a half at any one time and was made up of probably a couple hundred people. I am writing this as a participant journalist, as I was, admittedly, swept up by the parade. It was joyous to march through the city streets with fellow citizens, but I can only imagine what it would have felt like if there were 2,000 people. Imagine all of the city’s marching bands, artists, dirt bike riders, brass bands, and families, reclaiming dilapidated blocks of the city with celebration.

Baltimore used to host an annual Oriole parade, that, in the words of our own Jim Meyer, “once rivaled New Orleans’ Mardi Gras.” 

We could have a parade to rival Mardi Gras once again. And the Love Parade has been patiently laying the ground work for the last six years. (photos Baynard Woods)