This year I started the parade backwards by hitting the end area first, where I met up with the lovely Pip who was giving me my first ever parade participant experience. And what an experience it was.
It is a completely different feeling to experience the length of the parade route in its full glory on dusk. I hadn’t realized the buzz that I would get from doing those two laps on the back of a bike and the amount of joyous, happy and supportive people in the crowd. I saw signs along the route like “straight gals for gay rights”, grandmothers in camping chairs, tons of milk crates and tourists and our own community for miles (well 2.4 km’s anyway – on both sides). That’s over 5 kilometers of happy, shiny people all screaming happy Mardi Gras. My ears are still ringing.
When Pip dropped me off just down from Taylor square in front of where Queer TV was filming I jumped off the bike and gabbled like a 13 year old… I was high on the excitement of it all. A quick skip over to Taylor square for the official duties and I couldn’t contain myself.
I had for the first time experienced the joy of being in the parade, one I could share with the 10 000 other people on night, who all gathered at carnival and partied on till early early in the morning.
If you get the chance to participate next year, DO IT! I’m never looking back…
Next year i’m riding myself because i have the bug…
Dikes on Bikes Rule!
PS: Big thank you to Hayley and Webby for organising this for me. I owe them both big time!