Friday, August 22, 2008

Carnival in Provincetown

The big Carnival Parade in Provincetown was yesterday. What a great time. The Cape Cod Times had this to say:

PROVINCETOWN — A colorful roundup of "cowboys" saddled up for yesterday's "Wild, Wild West!" Carnival parade through town.

On the float for the AIDS Support Group of Cape Cod, first-time parade participant Patrick Dwyer of Boston, dressed in a tiny pair of shorts, worried that his bare stomach muscles wouldn't cut the mustard compared with others around him. And next to him, sitting at a fake saloon, summer resident John Comerford joked about global finances.

"I'm worried that the stock market is going to crash and I'm not going to be able to afford this hat," said Comerford, a second-year parade participant wearing a cowboy hat.

During the third week of August every year, the somewhat raunchy Mardi Gras-like festivities here known as Carnival were highlighted in a Thursday afternoon ruckus of a parade that ran from the east end of Commercial Street to the west end.

In its 30th year, Carnival is sponsored by the Provincetown Business Guild, a nonprofit group that focuses on enticing gay tourists to town. Provincetown is well-known nationally as both a year-round home and a vacation destination for gay men and lesbians.

This year, the parade took about 25 minutes to pass by the throng of onlookers and had about 40 entries, including pedicabs outfitted as stagecoaches, men dressed in adult versions of Little Bo Peep, convertibles with drag dignitaries, the League of Drag Queen Voters, antique cars, local Democrats, jazz singer Lea Delaria, women with fake horse heads on sticks, a smoking teepee on a flatbed truck, rolling advertisements for personal lubricants, and a seemingly endless supply of gyrating young men clad in varying amounts of Western duds.

Several bars, restaurants and liquor companies sponsored the bigger floats, with booming sound systems that rattled the wood-frame houses and businesses along the parade route. Generous handfuls of beaded necklaces, candy and bubble gum were thrown from the floats into the crowd.

Provincetown Police Chief Jeff Jaran said this year's crowd may have reached record proportions.

"From what I've heard, the traffic on Route 6 was much heavier than ever before," he said.

One person was slightly injured when a float ran over the spectator's foot, Jaran said.

Bob, Tobin, Sally, Buzzy and I had a grand time as usual. This is our 5th year on this annual outing. We can't wait for the next one!

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