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Annual Parade the Circle enlivens Cleveland
By Arooj Ashraf, La Prensa Correspondent

‘Branches Become Roots’ was an apt theme for the 23rd Annual Parade the Circle in University Circle on June 9, 2012 that grew leaps and bounds attracting over 75,000 people. Joining forces with Gordon Square as they celebrated the third year of Arts Day, the two cultural art extravaganza events of the year capitalized in bringing out the crowds and keeping them entertained and well fed throughout the day.

Free rides on Lolley the Trolley proved to be more successful than the planners anticipated, with long lines forming as the 5 trolleys navigated the traffic jams through University Circle to the scenic streets of the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood.

Street performers engaged young children in delightful conversations as they promoted upcoming plays at the Capital Theatre, local business treated pedestrians to ice cream and pop up shops seized the opportunity to share unique merchandise.

Across the river, in University Circle, the crowds were larger and eager to applaud as the floats and mystical creatures passed them by. The parade included more interactive elements, allowing watchers to jump-rope and get their pictures taken with themed frames.

The Elements—earth, fire, water, and wind—dominated the theme of the floats. No 2012 mystical-themed Parade would have been complete without the inclusion of the Mayan prophecy regarding December 21, 2012.  Puerto Rican guest artist Pedro Adorno and Angel Flores created the Mayan pyramid featuring various elements of the ancient civilization mythology, Island Roots.

Adorno has been flying in from the island to help out with the creative planning of the Parade and teaching artistic workshops along with local Guatemalan artist Hector Castellanos-Lara, who has been involved with providing workshops for participating agencies for the past decade.  This year he facilitated with the creation of more than 80 elements of the parade. Our Lady of Guadalupe – Mystical Rose co-created by Pete Spencer also graced the parade route.

Adorno said the best part of the Parade is the artistic collaboration that happens behind the scenes. “They have created a wonderful tradition,” he said and marveled at the organizers’ ability to engage the various communities for the benefit of cultural enrichment.

Julia De Burgos Cultural Arts Center performers from the La Comparsa Boricua brought the rhythm and dance moves to the route.

Adorno said the Cleveland Latino community needs to be more visible in the Parade: “This is the best way to learn about the arts, get involved!”

This year’s floats were dominated by volunteers in unique outfits bringing exuberant energy. Participants included babies and senior citizens.  Wheels in Motion featured Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities, many in wheelchairs decorated to become mobile fishing boats and butterflies. Another notable installment was ‘A marriage Tree-ty’ showing a tree wedding entourage with the gleeful matrimonial chime:  Today we turn our bodies into trees, our family branches into roots.

After the parade, the crowd enjoyed musical performances, the children participated in crafts, and everyone sampled delicious street-food from vendors like Original Greek Gyros, Sanders Concessions, Sophie’s Italian Sausage, and the Sweet Spot.

If for some reason you missed the fun log onto clevelandart.org and watch the parade stream encore.

University Circle Inc. will be hosting free concerts, movies every Wednesday beginning June 13 – August 29. For a complete schedule visit: http://www.universitycircle.org/events/2012/06/wow-wade-oval-wednesdays


Copyright © 1989 to 2012 by [LaPrensa Publications Inc.]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 06/12/12 20:06:25 -0700.





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