For the past few years I have been attending the Honk Festival (//honkfest.org/) in Cambridge. This past Sunday was the 2011 Honk and it did not disappoint!
I originally heard about Honk thanks to my dear friend Sophie who performs in the parade. Sophie and her troops from The Royal Frog Ballet (//www.theroyalfrogballet.com/) always do an incredible clown show in the Sunday Honk parade. Recently it has involved snazzy black and white outfits, red clown noses, and gold paper mache instruments.
There is a very cool political bent to the bands and performances in the Honk parade. It skews far left of center and always includes amazing creativity. This year one of my favorites was the reclaim your food group (surprise, surprise!). In addition to their great veggie costumes they had wonderful anti-industrial corn signs and banners. Who doesn’t love a little corn syrup bashing on a Sunday morning?
Besides going to support my friend, Honk serves as a great reminder for me to lighten up and have fun. It is wonderful to see people of all ages and from all walks of life dressing up in crazy costumes, listening to good music, and generally having a great time. It’s easy to get stuck in the routine of the “real world” and feel consumed by pressures and expectations. It’s harder to let go of all those cares, strap on some stilts, and parade from Davis Square to Harvard Square.
The multi-generational aspects of the event are also very cool. Although I’m only in my late 20’s, I still catch myself thinking I’m “too old” for certain things. Seeing lots of older people decked out in costumes and dancing like crazy has a nice way of reminding me that I’m never too old for anything. These self-assured free spirits are inspirational.
Did I mention the creativity? There are incredible costumes, bikes, and floats built by people in the parade. One of my favorites is the human-hampster wheel (above) that rolled down Mass Ave with remarkable speed (although turning proved to be a bit challenging). What a great reminder to let your creativity run free and see where it leads you.
So I’ll keep going to Honk to see friends and hear good music, but I’ll also keep going to stay young, stay crazy, and stay creative!