Monday, May 25, 2009

Spirit of Princeton Parade

Memorial Day weekend in Princeton brings out many a fine ensemble.

First down the pike was a formidable assemblage of bagpipers. Perhaps there's a tradition of leading with the bagpipes, as it triggered memories of a movie in which the Scottish army of long ago put its bagpipers out front on the battlefield, where they got summarily gunned down by the enemy. It didn't seem like good military strategy, but it speaks to how musicians often fare in the music business.

Following close on the bagpipes was a very disciplined and dignified fife and drum outfit.

There were also some marching bands--one in the classic Music Man mode, the other a group from Trenton with some fine rhythmic drumming. A third band was fronted by four girls carrying wooden guns, which they shifted back and forth from one hand to the other. Unexpectedly, responding to a cue from the music, the girls launched into ballet steps, lifting the guns gracefully into the air as they leaped forwards. Ballet with guns made for a memorable image.

The Patriotic Bike Brigade came out in force, doing right by the nation and the planet.

Then came a long line of firetrucks and emergency vehicles, followed by a tiger-bedecked calliope playing steam-powered patriotic tunes.

Bringing up the rear was the borough's beloved pair of parking meter patrol vehicles.

Afterwards, it was down to Palmer Square for an outdoor pancake feast and jazz of the "I left my home in Indiana" variety.

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