Yes, this is the third parade I've been to in five weeks, and yes, I know that sounds really silly. They just keep happening near me, man, it'd be rude not to drop by and see 'em. And I certainly couldn't pass up the annual Islendingadagurinn parade, described as "the largest parade in rural Manitoba"; the Gimli parade hits that sweet spot of being big enough to pull in support from all over the area, but not so big that companies feel obligated to send something and hang Christmas lights on a company truck.
There was a lot of stuff -- a lot of stuff -- in the parade, so fair warning: even having cut back a bit on the maximum image dimensions this time around, there are still about twenty-six (!) megabytes of pictures in here. And not a heck of a lot of duplicates, either; as much as it pained me to cut the alternate angles of interesting old automobiles, you'll see in a second that it had to be done. So if you'd like to see a larger version of a picture, or you want to see one of the parade entries from another angle, feel free to let me know; the chances are very good that I can dig one up.
Ah, but enough preamble. Let me be your eyes and... well, eyes, I guess, as we detail yesterday's holiday event.
The weekend weather had perked up by this point, after some pretty dreadful starting conditions, so folks were eager to get their viking on:
Hmm. Yeah, that's... that's pretty good. Pretty good crowd. There were plenty of Iceland-related shirts and child-size viking hats interspersed throughout the audience, but I think this guy deserves special mention:
I'd wear that hat. You'd wear that hat, too. Don't even pretend to me like you wouldn't.
The parade officially kicks off with the mile runners, so here are some mile runners:
And, a slight bit behind them (obviously at a bit slower speed), here's the start of the parade proper.
I dig the rainbow stripes on the RCMP vehicles like these ones. They're friendly-looking! I think they're cute.
You'll note the horns on the driver. That's a fun touch.
Okay, help me out here: what are these guys? They're too tall to be Icelandic gnomes, they're too cute (and too small) to be Icelandic trolls, and I'm pretty sure at some point Icelandic elves got flipped from Christmas elves to D&D elves. Wait, they're invisible to begin with, how do we even -- ah, nuts to this, let's move on.
Ha ha, right, okay, this. So the guy along the right there in the green polo is none other than the head of our province, Honourable Doctor Premier Greg Selinger, and one guy in the audience decided that as long as the Premier was walking by he may as well hop in there and talk things over with him.
I have no idea what they were talking about -- probably a fun caption contest if I had anything to give away -- but this went on for a little bit until the dude ambled back to his seat and the parade proceeded as before.
"What was that about?" "Dude, I don't even know. Just start walking."
And this photo was just to confirm that, yes, that's a Duke Asmundson jersey.
"To the Bezanmobile!"
There was no sign of James Bezan's horse Woody, unfortunately, which I think is really a missed opportunity.
Anyway, hope you like awesome cars:
y--wait how did grant nordman get in here, is this from the wrong image folder or
These folks do the battle reenactments every year, and it's always a good time, and oh man those shields are my favourite thing every time.
SO GOOD. Dude in the foreground there was on wander-by-and-chat-up-the-sidelines duty, a role he undertook with gusto.
Also, you can't see it in this shot, but roughly four feet down and to the left of me was a little boy in a plastic viking helmet whose dad had him on roar-at-things duty.
"Whoop, here they come! Here come the vikings. Scare the vikings, roar at them!"
"Ohh, look at that guy, with the beard. You better scare that guy."
The vikings appeared to take it in stride.
SHIELDS, man. If I had a den, it'd definitely have a shield in it.
Full disclosure: I still, still can't see Shriners without remembering this story and then struggling vainly to keep a straight face so I won't have to explain to people around me what I'm thinking about. ("The hardest part was getting the tiny car inside the cake.") But... never mind me.
You know what I really enjoy? Flags. I love flags, man, anything that's both really fascinating to read about and really fun to draw is a winning subject in my books.
OKAY BACK TO AWESOME CARS
Perhaps owing to my decades of living in Winnipeg, this is legitimately the first time that I've seen a real life Pontiac and not thought it looked moribund. I bet that thing's a blast to drive. Hell, most of these would be a blast to drive.
(I have certain opinions about vehicles.)
Oh my god, this one is adorable. I want to hug it.
I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT THAT IS BUT IT'S JUST THE CUTEST
(A quick Google search tells me now that this line was discontinued a decade before I was born, so, yeah. I had definitely never seen anything like this car before.)
Get a load of this one, man, this one is what we thought all cars would look like in the future.
Yesssssss, the best.
This dude's schtick was simple, but effective: "DOUGHNUT SEEDS! GET'CHER DOUGHNUT SEEDS!"
Blink and you missed this dude, who must have been one of those parade-timing-checkup types, and thusly spent the morning blazing a tiny bike up and down Centre Street while wearing a horned hat and Flintstones tunic. I don't think I need to explain to you why that's awesome.
brb, picture time
I need you guys to promise me that you'll never let me have one of these, because one day I'd be tempted to open 'er up on the highway, and that would be the end of me.
Well, I'm sorry, motorcyclers, but the little girl in the viking helmet just does not care for your racket at all. This will just not do.
Yeah, I completely wasted my childhood, I'll own up to it, but -- doesn't anybody else think that these guys should have different strengths and weaknesses based on their cape colours?
The flag guys are obviously the tanks, lots of HP and physical defence, but really vulnerable to magic. (The flagpoles are your clue to use bolt spells.)
The green guys are the commander types, so more generally durable than the others, and they probably have physical attacks that hit the entire party. The purple and white guys are black and white mages, because obviously, so they'd stick to the back rows and have high MP but hilariously low HP.
And there are more red dudes than the rest of the colours combined, so they'd be the grunts of the group. You'd see three red guys in the front row with a purple guy in the back, or maybe two red guys up front with a green guy back-left and a white guy back-right. Use Steal on them for potions.
These are the thoughts that kept me out of the really good schools. But thanks for coming, cape guys! I am clearly very easily amused by bright colours.
oh my god boss fight on the ship let's do thi--okay, no, focus, focus
This can't possibly get more than six or seven miles to the gallon, I ain't even care, I'd drive this thing all over the place. It just looks like fun.
Young people marching through our streets, in military dress, with guns! I blame the new Jets logo.
Gimli Regional Gliding School's doing all right for itself, I think.
Filed under "see, print ain't dead", here's the parade entry for the Lögberg-Heimskringla.
Actual, seriously-not-made-up dialogue between one of the paper-carriers and me: "Whoooo wants to stay informed of the world around them?" "Do I?!"
And then I got a paper! That's, uh... that's kind of it, that's the whole story. Moving on:
"Quick! Everyone onto the flatbed!"
There are probably worse ways to spend a weekend morning than hanging out on a truck with... what is that, about sixty people? Five dozen folks, just chillin' on the back of a truck, no big.
Oil dude has tiny little arms like a T-rex, and he has a little tuft of what might be hair on top of his head, but my favourite part of his design is that he dresses like Mike Haggar and I think that's really funny.
Not to single anybody out, but some people on this boat are more serious about their character than others.
Yes, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers cheerleading team and mascots were in the Gimli Icelandic Festival parade, and no, I don't know how to cogently explain that. Maybe they followed Grant Nordman out.
Owing largely to the placement and angle of the shot, this picture sort of looks like it would be the poster for a Clint Eastwood movie if Clint Eastwood were a bear.
Here's how you improve an already nice truck (and, really, here's how you improve just about anything): make it shoot flames.
This one shot flames, too, total Bond-car style, but I didn't manage to successfully catch a picture of its flames.
This one doesn't shoot flames at all, regrettably. It's probably just super fun to drive, although perhaps not so much around tight corners.
OH JESUS GOD WHAT IS THAT THING, GET IT AWAY, KILL IT, KILL IT
Whooh. Whuh! God, what the hell.
I think that's supposed to be a lifejacket, maybe (WHY DOES IT HAVE TEETH), but geez. Brrrrr.
"Quick! Everyone onto the... we forgot the flatbed, didn't we. Ah, screw it, we'll just walk."
This family reunion is nice, and all, but it just isn't complete without a miniature shield-boat float and a grinning dog in an Iceland kerchief.
Oh. Good! I think we're set, then.
"Quick! Everyone onto the flatbed! No, except you, you're on sign duty."
"...stupid sign duty."
And what is a parade without a phalanx of well-behaved dogs in fashionable neckwear? A much lesser parade, I can tell you that right now.
I got a better picture of this dude the second time he came around, the better to appreciate how his shoes complement the ensemble.
The way the Matlock Music Festival contingent cut around through the other entries suggested either that they'd arrived late and needed to make up lost time or weren't actually supposed to be in the parade to begin with. But they brought along a live music setup, a nice poster sign, and a horse, so I think they covered all the bases pretty well here.
"Well, I don't like it." "Oh, ease up, Earl."
The buggy here was already pretty impressive with the five different flags and the ribbon banner, but it also carried a secret weapon:
A deployable Elvis impersonater.
Parades are awesome. (And, yes, that was a live mic.)
We move now into the ATV portion of the event:
One out of two Ski-doo riders look like they're enjoying themselves.
I really appreciated the approach that the roofing and renovations company took here, apparently figuring, well, since they do houses, they may as well do a house.
I don't have any hard data to back this up as yet, but anecdotally, tree-related businesses in the Interlake have been doing pretty well for themselves this year. What with the storms knocking everything over, and whatnot. (I'm really going to miss some of those trees, but it wasn't up to me.)
Look, we had the house come through already, obviously the house is going to need some inflatable furniture. I mean, that's just common sense.
This was the final official entry in the parade, and you'll see shortly that they saved the most adorable for last. You see the little house riding on the front of the engine there? Every hundred feet or so, one of the little firepeople would go get the house--
--and deposit the house on the ground.
Then everyone would stand around staring at it for a bit, waiting for the house to light up.
Oh, no, the house lit up! There's a fire in that house! Quick! Get the hose!
The fire is extinguished and the day is saved! Hooray!
Okay, now put the house back.
And that -- give or take a couple of cyclists, a police vehicle, and some folks who tagged along at the end with their own handmade cardboard protest signs -- concludes your 2012 Islendingadagurinn Parade.
It was certainly a fun way to spend the morning, and the town was as bustling for Festival time as anyone can recall--
--but before we sign off, let's get one more angle of that fire engine show.
Ha ha ha ha, aww.
Parades, everybody! Parades are good times. I think I've covered my fill of 'em for the summer, by now, really -- but then, I can't guarantee I won't run into any more of them, so you never know. At the very least, I doubt I'll feel the need to go out of my way to see one, and other than the eventual Santa Claus Parade I can probably do with going paradeless through the rest of the year.
On to other matters, for now; I'll be back tomorrow or the morning after with the newest ManLinkWeek, so -- until then!