Last Saturday was the Fourth Annual Carnuel Road Parade and Fiesta here in the neighborhood, and wow was that a whirl of a day!

The morning started out in the parking lot of Explora, where all the floats lined up for their roll down the Mountain Road Parade route. In the meantime, clusters of drummers and dancers spotted the parking lot's shady spots, practicing their moves and gulping down pre-parade breakfast burritos. And a miming duo in electric blue full body suits scurried around performing silent antics. Mimes and cool.

When the engines started revving, we Harwood staff and friends leapt on to our float, which was being pulled by one of the parents at Escuela del Sol, driving a sporty red tractor. Excellent. Mind you, tractors are cool machines to look at, but their transitions between parade take-offs and sudden slow downs are all about the full-body-jerk. Nestled in our float with a number of friends from the neighborhood, six of us drummed our way along the parade route and held fast to our chairs and feet whenever the float stopped. Of course, the safer option was to walk alongside the float with tail-wagging dogs in hand. What's a community art center, afterall, if dogs aren't involved? Plus, those on foot were able to shoot the shizzle with friends along the sidewalks.

After the mile long stretch down Mountain road, the Parade ended in front of our main Harwood building on 7th street, and the entire front yard was swarmed with performers, cotton-candy eaters, and sumo-wrestling youngsters.

It was fabulous to see our front campus so packed and livened up with celebration and talented performances. Since we're also hosting several LAND/ART installations, it was also amusing to see folks interact with the towering tumbleweeds and the overflowing Cardens. At one point the next-up-on-stage belly dancers were even sunbathing atop the hood of the carden, camouflaged among the row of corn stalks and chard leaves. It's a funny visual stuck here in my head.

The day wrapped up around 4 pm, with final performances by Michael Heralda & family touring from LA with The 7 Warrior Foods of the Mexica People, and a final set by Los Amigos - the rockin' elders from the neighborhood. Thanks for all who came out, and thanks to all of the fabulous co-organizers of this yearly event. If you want to learn more about the Parade and Fiesta, or to see more pictures, visit us online.

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Comment by Stephanie on September 30, 2009 at 10:11am
Beautiful day. It was great having the FIesta at the Harwood! And the SUmo suits were hysterical. Three foot tall kids wearing just the top half of the suits, just tipping over onto each other LMAO!


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