Hillcrest Looks Forward to Remaining Six "Capital Parades."
Will Sloth Bother to Show Up?
CONCRETE AGENDA BUNKER BENEATH THE CENTER, HILLCREST - The 2011 Pride Parade is history now, and by all accounts, it was a smash success. From gay politicos (Bonnie Dumanis, Carl DeMaio) to gay-friendly Mayor Sanders to incoming SDSU President Eliot "Green is My Favorite Color of the Rainbow" Hirshman - who pledged "Every day in every way, I'll make this school a bit more gay" in his first day on the job - prominent San Diegans from all walks of life marched side by side with the city's GLBT community to show their support for the full equality of all Americans and for leather daddy dungeon raves.
But now that the glitter and greasepaint have been cleaned up, says The Center Parade Planner Elaine Marshall, it's time to look ahead and gear up for the Lust Parade, the Greed Parade, the Envy Parade, the Wrath Parade, the Gluttony Parade, and who knows, maybe even the Sloth Parade. ("Though that last one is usually just a couple of dudes in recliners, riding in the back of a pickup truck," admits Marshall.)
Artist's rendering of the next Capital Parade planned for Hillcrest.
"Pride is the biggie, of course," stresses Marshall. "Really, it's the root of all the parades - without Pride, most of these people wouldn't have the moxie to get out and march in public support of their particular community. The Envy folks tend the covet the spotlight, and the guys at Wrath are kind of angry about the relative lack of media coverage. But the simple fact is, it all starts with Pride."
Still, she says, the lesser of the Capital Parades are not without their uniquely attractive aspects. "Gluttony tends to be less of a parade than a sustained walking tour of every imaginable sort of Street Food. Fried dough and bratwursts are just the beginning here. Once, we had a guy selling foie gras corn dogs. And ever since the food truck boom, it really has become something to behold. People tend to purge along the way just so they can keep moving, and we've had to place extra trash cans on every block to hold all the vomit."
In a way, says Marshall, the smaller parades, "because they haven't gone quite as mainstream, maintain a little more edge" than Pride, which has toned down some of its more preening aspects in recent years. (Viz. the marked decrease in baby-oil related slip-and-fall accidents along the route.) Wrath, for instance, "is not something for the faint of heart. The screaming alone can be unsettling for outsiders, and even though we've mandated the use of foam bats instead of aluminum, there are always a few folks who wind up in the emergency room. And Lust? Let me put it this way. We encourage people to bring their kids to Pride. For Lust, spectators must have ID showing them to be at least 18 years old. And it doesn't hurt to be a little bit drunk."