Saturday, July 5, 2014
The Fourth of July is definitely the best holiday of the year for fireworks and parades. We didn’t go to the fireworks this year, but I did finally get to the Northside parade. Northside is the neighborhood just northwest of Clifton. Lots of artists and writers, a big LGBT community, good restaurants and bars, and an overall hippy ambience. As you might expect, the Northside parade has a local, quirky flavor. There are dogs and horses, motorcyclists, unicyclists, floats advertising local businesses, beauty queens, antique automobiles, numerous politicians – mostly Democrats (I got to shake hands with gubernatorial candidate Ed Fitzgerald), the Lawnchair Ladies Brigade, 5 or 6 marching bands plus 5 or 6 dance teams, social movement groups, and lots of enthusiastic kids.The parade route ran along Hamilton Ave. for roughly 20 blocks, and I would guess that there were 3 or 4 thousand spectators. The Northside parade first began in 1854 when the women and children rode in boats along the Miami and Erie Canal while the men marched alongside them on the banks. Today it’s the largest parade in the Cincinnati metro area and precedes the Rock ‘N Roll Carnival in Northside’s Hoffner Park. Here’s what just some of it looked like.