I love a parade and documenting it is a multi-tasking, quick thinking, exciting adventure. In this blog I will describe techniques, articles, book chapters, and personal fieldwork documenting parades, processions, and marches too. I welcome other people’s advice and comments regarding the subject. So many of us have captured those ephemeral moments on camera. Many of us have written about them. I’m not the only one with the passion and experience in documenting these types of festive events and that is why I don’t claim to be the expert. Yet, I have resources, knowledge, and experience that might prove useful, informative, and entertaining to those interested in the topic.
I live in the Los Angeles, California area and avidly videotape, photograph, and take notes on parades, processions, marches, and festive events. I’ve lived here since early 2000’s while completing my doctorate at the University of California Los Angeles. Also, I’ve documented parades around the United States and wrote about festivals and parades along the Mississippi River Region in numerous Southern states. I lived in New England and the Appalachian regions where I rarely missed a festive event. Internationally, I visited Shanghai, China during their St. Patrick’s Day parade and other festive events around the world. I have studied the literature on parades, processions, and marches and have mini home library, digital archives, and plastic file boxes full of information about parades and festivals. I keep notes about fictional parades, processions, and marches that I see in movies, podcasts, and TV series too. And lastly, I’ve been in parades, participating as a queen contestant, baton twirler, marching band saxophone player, club member, etc. As a kid, I was an exceptional bystander at various New Orleans Mardi Gras parades, where I wore face paint, cheered, and dived for pearls without injury. My early remembrance of wise words from a New Orleans local during Mardi Gras will always be, “I disdain unless I catch it in flight” and that was my first lesson in bead catching etiquette.