It's Parade Time!
March 5, 2023
It's Parade Time!
Parades have been an integral part of human culture since ancient and medieval times when they heralded important events such as religious celebrations, military conquests and royal milestones. While those processions were likely a lot different to modern parades, with marching soldiers, chariots and military horses on display, they still had a celebratory air with music and cheering crowds lining the course.
Over time, these ancient parades have evolved to include elements such as colourful floats, modern marching bands, dancing characters, elaborate displays and roving performers, all adding a more carnival-like atmosphere.
Today, parades are still held worldwide to celebrate religious holidays, cultural festivals, sporting successes and more. Famous parades include the Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro, the Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans, and the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Dublin.
The Magic and Merriment of a Christmas Parade
At this time of year, Christmas parades take centre stage in towns and cities all over the world. While the exact origins of the modern Christmas parade are unclear, they may have come from the European folklore of Krampus; the half-goat, half-demon who scared ‘naughty’ children while St Nicholas rewarded ‘nice’ children. In the Krampuslauf (Krampus run), local men would dress as the monster in an annual parade designed to thrill local townsfolk.
Since then, modern Christmas parades have evolved into delightful explosions of colour and performances featuring floats, music, colourful characters, elaborate displays and whimsical reconstructions of holiday stories. The Christmas parade often heralds the arrival of Santa Clause to the city’s centre, and children wait excitedly for that first glimpse of the elves, the reindeer and Father Christmas.
In Europe, Christmas parades often coincide with festive markets offering treats and holiday gifts for sale and might finish with the lighting of the Christmas tree in the town square or the singing of Christmas carols. Some of the biggest parades in America feature enormous balloon displays and spectacular live performances, attracting millions of spectators. In Australia, cities and suburbs embrace the joy and wonder of annual Christmas parades and pageants, with Adelaide’s Christmas Pageant being the biggest and oldest of Australia’s parades.
Long Live the Parade
From the spectacle of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York or Edinburgh’s New Year Hogmanay to the importance of Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras or Melbourne’s Moomba to the local joy of Grafton’s Jacaranda Festival or Maryborough’s Mary Poppins parade, parades are lively and festive celebrations, bringing people together and creating beloved traditions and memories to share.
And here at Bamboozled Productions, we think parades are pretty perfect!
Wishing you Joy this Festive Season
We love this time of year when we get to join the festivities of our local Christmas parades and spend time with family and friends. And we were thrilled to be part of the lighting of Adelaide’s Giant Christmas Tree providing roaming entertainment, including our brand new ‘Christmas Crackers’ characters. (If you need entertainment for your next festival, parade or pageant, contact us today.)
As the holiday season draws closer, we wish you joy, happiness and all good things as we say goodbye to 2022 and welcome 2023 with open arms… festival season is just around the corner!