Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Aliens Roam Commercial Street as PTown Gets Into Carnival Spirit

Aliens brandishing laser weapons were spotted this afternoon on Commercial Street, just at the edge of the Gallery District.  Even though they were aiming their intergalactic sidearms at passersby, they didn't seem threatening, and in fact seemed eager to meet the inhabitants of Earth, and to pose for photos as well. It is suspected that their appearance on the planet has something to do with the annual Provincetown Carnival celebration, running through Friday, August 17th, with many events scheduled all over town each day. This year's Carnival theme is "Space Odyssey." You can check out the Carnival schedule online, or stop by the old firehouse near Town Hall to find out what's happening each day. There you can also get Carnival T-shirts and various other supplies and paraphernalia, including the ubiquitous (and some will say mandatory) Carnival beads. By mid-afternoon on Thursday, tens of thousands of people will be gathered all along Commercial Street, waiting for the parade to start, and nearly everyone will be wearing strings of beads ranging from simple strands of round glass baubles all in a single color to elaborate ones made of blown glass and painted by hand. Kind of like at Mardi Gras, you'll want to have several strands of beads at the ready, so you can pass them along to folks you meet who have no beads, or to anyone else who strikes your fancy as you stroll through the town. This usually means wearing them all around your neck, unless you are sporting a very special strand or two yourself, in which case strands of beads to be given away can be carried with you in a bag and passed out to others until you run out of beads. You'll also find a few non-profit organizations selling strands of beads as a fund raiser, and convenience stores and other shops will have them for sale, too.
The parade is scheduled to begin in the Far East End at 3 PM, moving down Commercial Street to Franklin Street. The procession of floats, vehicles and marchers generally reaches the center of town around forty minutes to an hour past the scheduled start time, but can vary a bit in either direction. People will start bringing out lawn chairs and lining the curb along Commercial Street at least an hour or two before the parade.  This is where it comes in handy to have a friend in a second floor Commercial Street apartment. Absent such a friend, you'll want to pick a spot on the street early and defend it against the encroaching crowds. Don't forget your camera. Happy Carnival!

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