Oh, I know I don’t live in New Orleans anymore, but I am still game for any and every parade, so when S. texted about the Mayor’s Annual Holiday Parade in Hampden, I was all over it. We hopped on our bikes and pedaled that way, locked up, and headed into the crowd. Ok, it’s not New Orleans, and it’s not Mardi Gras, but there were still people in their saved spots with their plastic cups of whatever poured from thermoses waiting for the police van to go by and signal the start of the parade. But it’s not New Orleans, so the throws were limited to hard candies from the Shriners and some ill-advised full-sized candy canes from some other group–nobody can catch those, and then they just shatter. Rookies. There were politicians and middling high school bands and the inflatable Raven floated along by the traitorous Calvert High Cardinals, and finally some good steppers. I snapped a picture of this hideous Ronald McDonald impaled on the front of an old van. He was talking about something into that microphone, but seriously, unless you’re throwing out McCoupon books, I’m really not interested. It’s a parade. We left early, rode our bikes back down the hill for drinks, where a sign instructed us not to take our drinks outside, don’t even think about it, and I was still happy to be in Baltimore. This place has already been an embarrassment of riches. But they need to get some better parades going come summer.