02.02.09

A Chicago Chinese Spring Festival Parade (in blog format)

Posted in Down in Chinatown, Festivals and Celebrations, Uncategorized at 2:03 am by Benjamin Ross

In addition to being Super Bowl Sunday, today was the annual Chicago Chinatown Parade.  I’ve never actually blogged a parade before, so here goes.

Last year’s parade was witnessed by a miniscule crowd and in abbreviated form due to sub-zero temperatures (that’s sub zero farenheit).  This year, with temperatures in the 30’s, the turnout was huge.  The only other time I’ve seen a single “L” train stop so crowded was on election night.
Wentworth Street, the main thoroughfare in Chinatown is lined with onlookers, and an especially large number of small children lighting off whipper snappers.
Performers gear up for the parade set to start at 1 o’clock sharp.
Police line in place
Mexican guys with Obama hats sell cotton candy to the spectators.
Swarms of onlookers eagerly await the impending parade.
And the parade begins…
…care of Macy’s.
Dragons & Dragons & Dragons, Oh My!
We take a small moment to remember Western Union is (as the Chinese characters indicate) the world’s fastest way to send money.
Floats… I hope they’re throwing out hong bao’s
Presumably local dignitaries…Mister and Miss Chinatown 1982?
More banners, these traditional characters are a little to small for my astigmatic eyes to comprehend.  Can anybody read them?
A Chinese New Year Parade wouldn’t be the same without a marching band, would it?
Another float, this one sponsored by the Chinatown Parking Corporation
Another float with cute children.
Firetrucks!  It was at this point I was realizing that had I been 5 years old, this parade would have been shaping up to be one of the all-time highlights of my short existence.
An Irish bagpipe troop!
Anybody know how to say “kilt” in Chinese?
The Chicago Guzngzhou Association
Gong Hay Fat Choy!  Even with the recent droves of Mandarin speaking immigrants, Chicago’s Chinatown is still a predominantly Cantonese speaking community.
Taipei Economic and Cultural Association, along with their USA flare.
Cook County State’s Attorney?!?!?
They’re lovin’ it.
Remember when I said if I were a 5-year-old I would be having the time of my life?  Well, take that original excitement times a lucky 8!
military
make that two marching bands
Have a Happy Chinese New Year, from all of us in Chicago!

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