Halifax loves having parades. Unfortunately it seems as though every parade features the same floats. What I love about the Canada Day Parade, is that it doubles as the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo Parade as well, and that means new acts every time.
The Tattoo is a half-circus, half-military marching band/drill team exhibition that runs annually. Every year the performers walk the parade route before winding up inside the Metro Centre for the start of the first show.
Representing the Acadiens, Le Baie en Joie are present at nearly every big event in Halifax. Rightfully so though, since they're a world-class dance troupe in their own right, as well as being home grown Nova Scotians (perhaps begrudgingly for them?). And yes, you are right astute reader. I am in exactly the same spot on Spring Garden Road I always stand for parades.
From New Zealand, the incredible all-female Lochiel Drill Team. They are 30-time New Zealand Champions, and you can see from this picture that they even walk down the street in unison.
At about this time I switched over to the other side of the street so that the sun was behind me. There's actually a BellAliant store behind this mega-jeep, and I originally had my hopes up that the military had finally received all my angry e-mails and was coming to destroy Bell. Alas, that was not the case...
Some English traditions die hard...
Champion German stunt cyclist, Domink Lange, has been doing tricks on his bicycle for so long now he's forgotten how to ride it normally. He was joined in the parade/Tattoo by two other German stunt cyclists - Carla and Henriette Hochdorfer. Needless to say their combination of acrobatics AND bicycles was a winning one in my eyes.
Germany has by far the largest non-Canadian contingent every year it seems. If they aren't sending over cyclists or trampoline acts, they can always be counted on to have top-calibre step-drill teams or marching bands in attendance.
Showing us a new way to get around town, the Gym Wheel team from Germany brought their incredible collection of hoops and human wheels. I shudder to think about how they got those through airport security. I have trouble getting a roll of toothpaste on the plane.
When the "horse play" was all over, a more serious float came along. This newly wed couple rented a wagon to pull them through the streets. What a special day for them, but I'm not so sure about the bride's face. The poor girl has a face like a cow.
Of course, what would Canada Day be without fireworks? Halifax loves its fireworks and will think up any excuse to fire them off.
There were whizzy ones...
And fizzy ones...
And smoking ones...
And great big finale ones.
It's interesting too, because it seems easy to take fireworks for granted when your city shoots them off about five times a year. I was talking with one of the young performers from the Tattoo a few days later, and she told me that she was amazed at how big and long the fireworks show was. She came from a small town in Denmark that only let off a few firecrackers once a year on New Years Day.
If I learned anything, I learned today that it's important to get out and talk to people because it helps put everything in a better perspective when you can see things from a different point of view. Stay tuned for more EP Dave-style cultural enlightenment.