The Ithaca Festival -- which natives dub "the weekend we celebrate the departure of the college students!" -- kicked off with a huge parade last Thursday. Benj and I came early so we could score good viewing spots. (I also wanted to be very close to the people throwing candy. My scheme was a great success.)
"I am Ithaca" was the theme (complete with papier maché tiki man) and all species of Ithacan were represented: marathon runners, middle-aged mermaids, makeshift gypsies, the Leche League (see giant breastfeeding woman), umbrella-sporting geriatrics, human peacocks, stilt people (I didn't even notice them at first. I think all the ad conferences made me immune), the Infamous Bag Man, and strawberry spawn -- among myriad others.
Like pet, like owner!
It's the Volvo ballet!
The parade ended with the arrival of two fire trucks, one of which was towing a not-so-little piece of history.
"Isn't it amazing?" Benj said. "That's how they used to put fires out. To think it was drawn by a horse. Look at the modern equivalent!"
More photos here. Also, catch short videos of the children's band, some whimsical violinists, and -- ooh -- belly belly BELLY dancers: