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Everybody Loves a Parade: 5 to Watch For

by Carley Wade

Nov 12, 2017

© Imagecom | Dreamstime

Listicles

You don’t have to wait until November to enjoy the fun and frivolity of floats, balloons and dancing in the streets. Although your kids watching Snoopy and Dora floating by on Broadway may be a Thanksgiving highlight (besides dessert, of course) there are plenty of other parades worth planning a day — or a vacation — around.

 

Rose Bowl, Pasadena, Calif.

What could be better than escaping cooler temps by heating things up in the Golden State? Even if you don’t like football, kicking off the New Year with a trip to California in January means you’re in for a treat at the Tournament of Roses, where flower-festooned finery gets cheers all through downtown, along with equestrian teams and marching bands.

The traditional flowers parade Bloemencorso from Noordwijk to Haarlem in the Netherlands.

Photo: Wieslaw Jarek | Dreamstime

 

Bloemencorso, The Netherlands

Bloemencorso (the Dutch word for “flower parade”) puts the country’s most famous export at center stage each year in mid-April, with bulb blossoms like tulips, hyacinth and daffodils kicking off spring. The massive 20-float and 40-vehicle perfumed party with bands follows a 42-kilometer route through the countryside. Don’t miss out on Madurodam if you make a trip — the village re-creates all of Holland in fascinating miniature.

 

La Tomatina, Valencia

Make sure you don’t pack any white shirts for La Tomatina, Bunol’s glorified food fight. The Valencian town has been throwing tomatoes since 1945 during the last week in August. Festivities kick off when one person in the crowd gets up the gumption to climb a two-story wooden pole with a ham at the top. The lobbing starts when water cannons are fired, and lasts for about an hour until all produce is gone.

 

Mardi Gras, New Orleans, La.

Not all of the Big Easy’s biggest celebration is about booze and beads — there’s plenty of candy and face paint for the kids, too. You might have to pull them out of school on Fat Tuesday, but the experience is unforgettable. Grab a slice of king cake and hit the route at Napoleon Avenue at the beginning; you’ll still get to bed at a reasonable hour. Or the Garden District offers up spaces for picnic blankets.

St. Croix Christmas Parade

Photo: Linda Morland | Dreamstime

 

St. Croix, USVI

Eschew the carols for calypso with some island rhythms on St. Croix, where carnival stretches from Christmas to New Year’s. Get ready for Latin music, food fairs, horse races, parades and a Christmas village, with events in both of the island’s biggest cities: Christiansted and Frederiksted.

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