Every year my neighborhood of Hampden hosts Baltimore’s Mayor’s Christmas Parade. This is simply put the best parade ever. You may ask how a small little parade in Baltimore could compare to something like The Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. Well, it can’t compare in terms of spectacle, but what makes the Mayor’s Christmas Parade far superior to all other parades is the sheer awesome randomness of it all. The parade of course has your typical marching bands, dance troupes, and local personalities including of course the Baltimore mayor. However, it also contains the most random assortment of other people and things that may or may not actually be Christmas related, which is what makes it such fun. The best part is that there are the returning favorites from each year, but they also manage to come up with new awesome things each year so it’s always a fun surprise to see what will come marching your way each and every year.
Unlike every other year I’ve gone when it’s been freezing cold to start with, it was actually quite pleasant out this year which made watching the parade much more delightful. I’m petitioning the weather gods for it to be that warm for the parade every year. The parade also seemed to be super long this year running a full hour later than the posted end time. It usually runs a little long, but I can’t ever remember it ending in the dark. It ended so late this year that my photo of the Santa float that ends the parade every year turned out as nothing but headlights and some streetlights against a pitch black background.
I’m posting a few highlight photos below, but I highly encourage you to check out my entire Flickr album from the parade because these pictures don’t even begin to cover it.
This is the first year I can remember there being actual balloons in the parade. I was impressed how the handlers managed to keep the balloons from hitting our low hanging street lights. In addition to this Raven there was also a Snowman later on, which you can see in my full album.
It wouldn’t be Christmas without Darth Vader in a Santa hat.
And what says Christmas more than an appearance by Captain Seaweed. (No, I don’t know who Captain Seaweed is, but the fact that he made an appearance in the parade is totally awesome).
Of course you have your random assortment of Superheros just walking down the street.
The Toilet Bowl Racers had their own little parade of floats this year. The Toilet Bowl races happen during Hamdpenfest, one of my neighborhood’s festivals each September.
And finally a dog in a Shriner’s hat riding a flying carpet. (The Shriner’s always have a big showing in this parade with lots of really cool, fun floats and vehicles.)