If you have never experienced the “Horribles Parade” on July 4th in Winthrop, Massachusetts, put it on your calendar for 2011! A “parade of horribles” is a New England tradition that dates to the late 19th century. In contemporary Winthrop, the parade has become opportunity for kids and adults to get creative and have some fun.
We competed in the category “Most Horrible.” And because we were playing to win (for ourselves and our hosts, First Church of Winthrop, United Methodist), we decided to bring in a ringer… call him (her?) “Joe”.Joe rode in style on one of our trailers (pulled by John). I took pictures and video (coming soon). Chie rode her bike, Sara & Bliss carried a Leadership Campaign banner calling for 100% Clean Electricity in Massachusetts by 2020. Margaret’s 2-sided broomstick flag read “July 4th 2050: Worcester Beach Party …..that’s HORRIBLE!” and “Climate Change is unBEARable!”
People all along the parade route recognized us. Kids we met at the beach wanted to know if we remembered them, and adults shouted “It’s the bike kids!”
In the end, the judges agreed with us… this is horrible! I don’t know if they were responding to the horrible reality that climate change is unBEARable, to the fact that when we got to the judges stand we dropped our banner and toppled a bike, to the quality of our cheer, or to a giant papier-mache polar bear in an ill-fitting bikini top… But no matter. They connected with something of our efforts and awarded us 2nd place in the “Most Horrible” category!
The best parts of the parade were the responses from those who read our banner and responded with shouts of “clean electricity!” I’m thinking that the Winthrop Horribles Parade has just become a new Climate Summer tradition!