Long live the King Mango Strut
The Mangoheads work tirelessly to get the parade done each year through all the city red tape; they accept donations, but for the most part, they raise the money to put the event on the old fashioned way, raffles, parties, car washes, begging the BID for funds, etc. Actually they don't do car washes, they should.
The great thing about the Strut is that it is done for the locals. Almost everyone you know is there, either in the parade or on the sidelines watching. The whole village shows up, people you have not seen all year are right there the last Sunday of the year each year. It's a great way to end the year.
People have been complaining about the strut not being political enough. Maybe they are right, I really don't look for that, I just enjoy the whole atmosphere, it's about the event, not the subject matter for me. To be honest, I have not been to any of the meetings this year so I don't know if certain subjects were taboo, but I really doubt it. I think people chose what they thought would be fun. Each group picks their own subject to parody.
One group was going to do Toxic Parks, but they didn't have enough members, so they dropped out. I didn't understand that since there have been "groups" of one person in the past. I think one lady played the Pope in her own "group" on Sunday and in the past even the Marching Freds had only one Fred. So two or three people mocking the toxic parks would have worked.
Some are questioning funding; if people donated money, were they off limits when it came to parody; like developers and politicians and such?
But again, this isn't the New York Times of parades -- all the news that's fit to parody. It's a small hometown tradition. It's a fun event to end the year.
I find the Strut to be a party for the locals. The fact that others show up and enjoy it is great, but to be honest, it would still go on whether people came from outside or not. This is one event in the Grove, and probably the only event, where the attendance is not counted. It's about fun. It's about Coconut Grove. And while it brings people here to spend money, that is not the goal and never was the goal. It all started because a small group was denied entry in the big Orange Bowl Parade 32 years ago, so they started their own thing. From that's it's become a year-end tradition. It still lives, the Orange Bowl Parade is long gone.
If it seems to be stale or not what people like, perhaps the complainers should join the committee next year or at least sit in on meetings to see what goes on and where funding comes from. But in the end, it's a parade. Why dissect it?
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