It turns out I showed up on some kind of civic holiday, when the medieval guilds kick off the summer season. I didn't think anyone belonged to a guild anymore, but I could not have been more mistaken. Yesterday was the children's parade - essentially a multicultural festival where kids dress up in traditional costumes, but randomness abounded.
|This small contingent of Roman legionaries was not actually part of the parade, and actually cut off the Armenian children by storming the parade route|
|The man of the hour being towed along the parade route|
You would think nothing would have distracted me from burning shrapnel flying from the giant exploding snowman on the other side of the street. That's when the men of the fisher's guild started pelting the crowd with whole raw fish (you know, like in normal parades when the marchers toss candy into the crowd?), and the burning debris became an afterthought. Nothing about this seemed like a good idea, until I learned that when the inferno had burned down a bit, people barbecued over Frosty's remains. Maybe then a raw fish becomes something more desirable to have on hand? After the main route, all the guilds split up and marched separately to the guild houses where riotous partying ensued. This is clearly one of those festivals which I can say with a high degree of confidence would never work in North America.