It's Saturday morning and a mass of puppet-wielding, stilt-walking, costume-adorned parade participants gathers behind Montezuma Avenue’s Jean Cocteau Cinema.
The air is filled with Zydeco-style music from local Afro/Caribbean jazz-troupe Samba Fe, who are strapped with drums and trombones, getting everyone pumped for the march through the Santa Fe Farmers Market toward the Railyard Park. The crowd is made up mostly of families, with kids riding past on unicycles and others wobbly supporting giant papier-mâché puppets of various animals and creatures ordained with paint and ribbon-streamers. There is even what looks like a human-sized beaver dancing through the mob.
Then a trumpet is heard over the crowd, belting out something like a call to arms, and the mass begins to march.
The parade is a sort of opening ceremony for a collaborative Earth Day celebration, Home, which is going on all day in the Railyard Park. With 42 different organizations and an impressive array of events varying from all-day musical performances to a puppet pageant and even workshops on how to cook hamburgers using chicken-droppings as fuel, “everybody’s representing different ways that you can make your life more sustainable or connect better to the Earth in your daily life,” Wise Fool’s Amy Christian tells SFR over the hum of a marimba band.
“It’s a great way to remind people that they can step outside the box and that everyone is extraordinary, and you can do whatever you put your mind to…If we’re going to change what’s happening, we have to believe we can,” Christian continues before a young girl, wearing face paint and standing on stilts, interrupts to ask if she can be in the puppet pageant.
“Absolutely,” Christian responds as she smiles up at the young girl who is shifting to keep her balance, “there’s a spot for you in the pageant.”