Parade the Circle
I love a parade. Well, not usually—I've never been that interested in harvest queens waving from Cadillacs, or floats covered in flowers.
Parade the Circle, held each Spring in Cleveland's University Circle is another story. It's not so much a parade as it is art in motion.
Parade the Circle showcases the creativity of Clevelanders, people from all walks of life (plus international guest artists) who put together floats and costumes inspired by one common—and often ambiguous theme. Last year's theme was 2011 Voices among Voices. This year's is "Branches Become Roots - Cycles: Coming Back/Going Forward." Themes such as these are open to interpretation. I look at this year's and imagine dense rain forests in which shoots come down from the canopy to replant themselves in the soil below. In that I see the cycle of renewal and sustainability. I see someone riding back and forth on a unicycle. These are my initial most literal interpretations of the theme. As my mind wanders I may see a Phoenix, dark moments of history repeating itself, the Mayan calendar, etc. Were I to participate in the parade, the ideas for costumes or floats would be endless.
Inspiration comes in many forms, but I prefer to watch.
Despite daydreams in which I design parade floats in my head, for the parade I remain a spectator. As I watch the parade—through the lens of my camera—I'm inspired to find the right way to capture the moments. I snap quickly because the performers are on the move. If I blink they'll be facing the other way or will have walked into the shadow of a nearby tree. Participants spend weeks preparing for the parade and each year I'm more impressed with their imagination and creativity. I use my camera to try to capture their achievements so that I can save them for later, when the images may serve as a source of inspiration for other projects, be they related to photography, Web development, or this blog. The photos aren't as good as being there, but its the best method I have for grabbing a slice of time and storing it away.
Get inspired - East Side and West
Whether you're looking for creative inspiration or just a day of great entertainment, you'll want to catch this year's parade. It starts at noon this Saturday, June 9, 2012, in University Circle. The art doesn't stop on the East side. Saturday is also the day of the Gordon Square Arts Festival so you'll find something fun on both sides of town. Buses will be running between Gordon Square and University Circle all day, thus making it easier to attend both events. Visit the Parade the Circle and Discover Gordon Square pages to learn more.