Thursday, August 22, 2019

Don't Miss PTown's Fabulous Carnival Parade, Today Along Commercial Street

The theme Enchanted Forest will be on display during Carnival Parade in PTown.

Provincetown’s annual Carnival celebration began humbly back in 1978, having grown this year to a nine-day party with 17 official events scheduled, and dozens of less-official parties and gatherings at guest houses, homes. bars and swimming pools throughout the town.

Routinely bringing upwards of 90,000 people to this little village of some 3,000 year-round residents, Carnival in PTown has been called the best festival on Cape Cod, and is among the largest LGBTQ celebrations in the nation.

The marquee event of this shindig is our Carnival Parade, which is scheduled to begin at 3PM this afternoon in front of Harbor Hotel, in the Far East End of town, following Commercial Street all the way to Franklin Street in the West End. That gives you about two miles in which to carve out a little space for yourself, maybe set up lawn chairs with a few friends (at least two hours early,) or come late and stand behind eight rows of people crowded onto the sidewalk somewhere along the route. Either way, you'll have fun.
Typically the procession reaches the center of town about an hour after the scheduled start time, but we've been fooled before, when the parade has actually started on time, or been delayed, so be prepared to show up early, and to wait awhile. Fair warning: a handful of real parade zealots may have already shown up at 7AM to get their exact, favorite spot, armed to the teeth with reading material, coffee, pastries, sandwiches and lots of cold beverages (remember, alcohol is not allowed on public streets.) 

Those who walk in shoes like these all day long are the real heroes of Carnival..
Past parades have brought us a wide variety of floats created by local businesses; driving entrees like stars of our famous summer entertainment perched up high in the backs of stylish, open convertibles; perhaps a marching band or two; walking entries, and many others. And this year there are three Grand Marshals of the parade:
Lea DeLaria - comedian, actor (Orange is the New Black,) talented jazz singer and owner of The Club at 193A Commercial Street; Trixie Mattel - drag queen, actor, songstress, and widely known for her win on the third season of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars; David Velasco Bermudez - resident of Cape Cod and veteran of the Stonewall rebellion, 50 years ago this month.

Past Carnivals have shown off remarkable costumes like these.
You can expect to see lots of fabulous costumes, glitz-and-glamour, tiny swimsuits, and really big hair. This year's theme is Enchanted Forest, and there's just no predicting what will come from the imaginations of those in the parade, or those who choose not to march in the procession but to create marvelous costumes to wear while they simply stroll the streets or make their way to parties around town.

The gentlemen in this photo had made their own, truly unique costumes for the Carnival theme Viva Las Vegas a few years back, with flamingo codpieces. :ook closely. Fabulous!
For me, half the fun of Carnival is always just sitting on a bench somewhere and watching all of the costumed revelers walking by licking ice cream cones, or having their own little parade, day or night, in the streets.
Remember, there will literally be dozens of thousands of people all around you in Provincetown today, so don't forget - be kind to your fellow humans and animals, tip your servers well, and get out to enjoy whatever Carnival is for you.

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