Sunday, March 28, 2010

Masked Parade in Bar-le-Duc

When we were visiting Bar-le-Duc, we were able to see a "masked parade" down the city's main street that afternoon. This event, I gather, was linked to an exhibition of masks at the city museum and to mask-making workshops for children. Despite on-and-off rain during the day, a couple of hundred people rolled, strolled and marched from one end of Bar-le-Duc to the other in a festival of fun and general wackiness.

Stilt-walkers and bicycles led the parade, which included children, adults, musicians, floats, and groups, such as a dozen or so people toward the end of the parade wearing--or at least holding--African masks in solidarity with Namibia.

The huge bike was certainly a nod to Bar-le-Duc's status as the place where the pedal bicycle (le velociped) was invented.

As the parade reached the main part of downtown Bar-le-Duc, a local band, wearing mask-hats, serenaded the paraders, who stopped walking to listen to multiple songs.

This fanciful fish rolled on bicycle wheels.

The parade included a marching band from Bar-le-Duc's sister-city of Greisheim, Germany, which is a small city just west of Darmstadt.

For me, the highlight of the parade was when members of the Greisheim band joined, impromptu, the Bar-le-Duc band for two songs.

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