Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Parade Update Post

Hello parade fans, I have been to see for myself the state of parental blockage on the marching band front. Yes, I attended the 112th Victoria Day parade in our fair city along with an estimated record crowd of 65,oo0. If that estimate is to be believed then about one in five Victorians came out to watch what is a spectacle that may not be so bad as to be "ridiculous", as one loyal reader has tagged it, but is less than awe-inspiring.

However, the marching bands are fun to watch and do inspire. The youth giving it their all to put on a show is always great to see. I know for a fact that one other loyal reader who poo-poos parades is a big fan of high school musicals. I think the marching bands and musicals have some of the same positive characteristics. Enough about debating the merits of the parade itself though, as the real argument is why the heck are parents out there getting in the way of their children's performance?

I watched a good dozen U.S. bands and three Canadian ones go by on Monday. I am happy to report that the Canadian bands had no noticeable parental escorts. The U.S. bands too were mostly escort free. I did see one band that had at the back of the band a group of about fifteen parents, dressed in the same colours as the band and marching in step with the band while carrying water for when it was needed. While I still argue this is unnecessary, at least this was a cute way of dealing with it and didn't involve blocking the view.

There were two bands that had parents walking alongside and obstructing the crowd's view and enjoyment of their band. One band in fact stopped in front of me, so did one of the parents and there she stood directly in front of me as the band played. I mean she wasn't fat or anything so I could see most of the band, but still it was not very aesthetically pleasing. You've got these bands all gussied up in their marching uniforms to look sharp and here's this mom in a t-shirt and jeans standing between them and the audience with her water bottle at the ready. Now that's ridiculous.

Meanwhile, the 85 year old guy carrying the flag as part of the Canadian Legion marching group grinds it out to the end without any water at all. I guess that guy's mom is a neglectful parent.

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