Manhattan and the Mexican Day Parade

This weekend, I decided to check out two very different parades:  the Steuben Day Parade (very German) and the Mexican Day Parade.  I ended up doing three (including the African-American Day Parade).

Nevertheless, the two initial parades were very different.  If you’ve read my other parade posts, you’ll note the audience reaction is a key point in my evaluation.  The Mexicans reacted loudly with flag-waving and singing and shouting and whistling.  A fun and enthusiastic crowd.

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There was the usual crowd of dignitaries whom I didn’t recognize. 

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It always helps to have a camera and a reporter to get the crowd roaring though.

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You can’t see the female reporter here, but she went back and forth throughout the parade.  Distance-wise, it was a relatively short parade (27th to 41st, going north to south on Madison Avenue).  Any Madison Avenue parade is, in my way of looking at them, a second-tier parade.  I think the Mexicans need to move to Fifth or 6th next time.  Too much crowd and noise and fun for a Madison Avenue parade.  (Note that some of my favorite parades have been on Madison, it’s just that those tend to be less well-attended.)

An old mystery was solved.  At the Dominican Day Parade, I saw a weird figure that I thought was a Dominican folk character.  In that case, this bearded guy in a dress with a parrot on his head was running around.  Well, he showed up at the Mexican Day Parade.  He’s no folk character.  Just a weird guy.

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He also has a dyed dog.  He must have shown up five times during the parade.  Enough said about the guy.

The parade was pretty typical.  They had very loud music (I forgot my earplugs, of course) and floats and dancers.  Lots and lots of dancers.

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Perhaps my favorite moment was an oddball one.  Some of the crowd had perched on top of a phone across the street.  A cop went over and rousted them.  Hey, join the club.

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In terms of the parade itself, nothing beat the “dancing conquistadors”.  There were a bunch of them.

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And they danced.  Danced big time.

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There were even other versions of them.

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But there were other dancers.  Really good ones, and very traditional.

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There was a group of Mexican soap opera actors.

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Or that could have been a channel 41 news crew…I’m not sure.  There was one stunning blonde that I got a bad picture of (she sure wasn’t part of the news crew).

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And another cool part of the parade…lowriders.  Cars and bicycles.

There were maybe 40 or 50 cars.  Some of them had the bouncing hydraulics, which the crowd loved.  And then it ground to a halt.

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Yeah, the car on the left broke down.  After a few minutes they pushed it off the street.

The cars were fine, but the bikes were more fun.

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There were a bunch of them.  Lots of chrome, chains, and bad taste.

A group that I had passed on my way back from Church arrived.  Little Aztec girls.  Very cute.

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(Another picture that I had taken and thought was perfect was actually pretty bad.)

Then, Aztec women.

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And finally, Aztec….creatures?

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Okay, obviously Aztec men, but stylized like the conquistadors.  I don’t know why.

At this point, I knew the parade was winding down and that I needed to get to Harlem for the African-American Parade.  So I left.  I missed maybe another 20 minutes or so, at least by my reckoning.

A good parade.  I’m going to have to resist the temptation to rate the parades.  I really did like the Steuben Day Parade for its traditional look and feel and for the fact that they didn’t do recorded music.  Most of the Mexican Day Parade music was also generated live, but they really love the amplifiers, which were almost unknown in the Steuben Day Parade.  The crowd reaction from the Germans was, of course, much more muted than the Mexicans; but both crowds seemed to enjoy the events.  I know I did.

-H

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Explore posts in the same categories: Events, Manhattan, Mid-town, Parades

One Comment on “Manhattan and the Mexican Day Parade”

  1. maria flore Says:

    i like you review of the mexican parade, i was in the event and so i couldn’t see it.
    thank you for the pics.


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