This Sunday, September 12, 2010, Cambridge hosted Cambridge Carnival International 2010. As usual, the fest began with a parade of participants in the masquerade contest and other groups. Some of these others included the Patrick for governor campaign and the OpenAir Circus. The parade was lead by Grand Marshall, Mayor David Maher along with Councillors Reeves and Seidel. Followed closely by a Carmen Miranda impersonator with a Brazilian flag parasol in a Mini Cooper convertible. Next came many members of the Cambridge Democratic City Committee Supporting Deval Patrick’s re-election bid. Next came stilt walkers from the Openair Circus.
Then the real meat of the parade. A marching drum and bugle band of Panamanian Americans from Panabos lead off the musical content. They were the only live music that I noted except for a pick-up truck with drummers in the back. They were followed by a dozen or so clubs featuring large trucks fitted out with sound equipment Blasting out the rhythms of the Caribbean and Central America. Reggae and house music was the rule of the day.
The Parade started On River Street at Blackstone Street and proceeded up River Street, Through Central Square to Main Street and then past the reviewing stand where the masqueraders were judged by crowd response. In Kendall Square on Main street there was the typical scene of food and product vendors. The food selection was dominated by Caribbean treats such as curry goat, curry stuffed roti, fried plantains and meat pies. There was plenty of Indian (Millions of Indians were brought to the region to work the sugar plantations along with Africans. This helps to explain the curry and roti and has had a profound influence on various Caribbean and northern South American accents.), Thai, and fried dough too.
There were several stages set up there for more music and dancing, which is usually one of the best parts of the day, but alas, I was called away the help the OpenAir Circus teach stilt walking at the kids area.
Although there was the aroma of misdemeanor public wafting through the crowd, and there was the usual compliment of public drinking in Central Square, what I saw seemed good spirited and peaceful. I did Speak with one Cambridge police officer at around 4:00PM and he said that that they were kept pretty busy with small stuff, but as of then It was going well.
Sadly, I missed much of the show and can’t tell you about the live music at the party in Kendall, but just about everybody I talked to was having fun.
For full disclosure it should be noted that the author is a board member of the OpenAir Circus and a member of the Ward One Democratic Committee.
My apologies for the music which is an Apple iPhoto default and for some of the cropping done by iPhoto which cut off at least one face and headdress leaving only the upper torso of the subject seen. It was unintentional on my part, but I left it in as many of the costumes are designed to show off the wearer's body, and to deny this just seems wrong.