Rain-proof parade – video included | TheUnion.com

Rain-proof parade – video included

It rained on their parade, but Mardi Gras revelers had too much fun anyway.

Hundreds of people lined Broad Street Sunday afternoon in Nevada City to watch the 14th annual display of marching bands, dancers, old fire trucks and vintage vehicles, and to beg for the beads and candy parade participants threw into the crowd.

When asked how many people attended, a Nevada City policeman replied, “Many.”

Grand Marshall Matt Weaver, a Grass Valley auto dealer, opened the parade by throwing the first beads.

Logan Hill, 6, of Sacramento, expressed his feelings about the parade by tooting a tiny trumpet he had caught on a string of shimmering beads. He also squeezed a little rubber ducky.

A musical recording reminded the spectators not to mess with anyone’s toot-toot.

Parade floats included a 20-foot-long, fire-breathing dragon made of rusted gears, gadgets, gizmos and other assorted scrap metal. The spectacle was offered by Drag-on Master.

The students of Lyman Gilmore Middle School marched bravely despite the cold wind blowing and drizzle that had begun to fall. A boy playing a clarinet stopped playing, looked around, and grabbed a string of red beads that had fallen nearby without causing a major disturbance in the band’s formation.

An unidentified boy, who appeared to be about 12 years old, also demonstrated his priorities when he dove under a crowd-restraining fence and crawled along the wet asphalt of the street to retrieve a string of large, white pearlized beads that fell beyond the reach of less-daring spectators.

Members of the Ophir Prison Marching Kazoo Band and Temperance Society, Ltd., of Sacramento returned to the event to provide New Orleans-style funeral music.

Sabrina Hill, wearing a button claiming she is a graduate of the prison’s halfway house for girls, said the band accepts tips that are used to aid girls who don’t go all the way.

Red-hat hotties from around the region to strut their stuff in red garb festooned with purple.

Flappers wearing fishnet stockings and sneakers bumped, ground and shook their booties.

An all-Caucasian drumming group demonstrated rhythm.

There were no streakers in this year’s parade. Nudity, however, was provided by about a dozen Barbie dolls in various stages of undress, lounging on the hood of a 2006 Dodge Viper convertible that participated in the parade.

Nine members of the Allison-Whittaker-Torres clan of North San Juan collected about 20 pounds of beads, most of which hung around the neck of 18-month-old Jeremy Whittaker. The collection included beads in the shape of balls, stars, dice, peace signs and swirly things.

His mother, Jennifer Whittaker, said she enjoyed the people at the parade. “They’re unique,” she said.

The Union is providing the following wardrobe suggestions, based on garments observed Sunday, for readers wishing to plan ahead for next year’s Mardi Gras parade:


• Green sequined berets

• Purple feather boas

• Dalmatian-print knee-length coats

• Fuzzy black hats with psychedelic octopus legs sticking out and a red ball hanging from each octopus leg

• Fuzzy sienna knee-length dusters

• Fuzzy orange hats

• Red elbow-length gloves


• Baggy, multicolored pants stuck into high leather boots

• Lavender velour tunics tied with a bright sash

• Tall hats of red, black, white, silver and gold patchwork

• Green foil bowlers

• Black cowboy hat, waistcoat and black duster (handlebar mustache a plus)

For both men and women:

• Wigs of purple, blue, green or orange hair

• Feathered masks and headdresses

• Gold and silver shakers in the shapes of hearts, with tassels

• Anything that combines purple, green and gold

The parade lasted for an hour, after which many attendees dove into nearby drinking establishments.


To contact staff writer Trina Kleist, e-mail trinak@theunion.com or call 477-4231.

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