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Shiro Matsuri
The Parade
 
Everyone was in costume. Some were simple "happi coats" like ours, others were yukata or themed costumes like the one below. These people put on a "viking show" at the local amusement park. Everyone comes out for this festival!

 

This is one example of the shrines which were carried in the parade. This one was made by Kiyo Bank. Those employees in the parade who weren't carrying the shrine or waving fans were dancing behind them. Like I said, everyone gets into this parade!

In front of each group there were streamer and lantern carriers, as well as banners to advertise which organisation or business they were from.

The bulk of each group consisted of clusters of dancers dressed in ornate cosumes, yukata, or happi coats. Many business and groups in the city had a float or shrine in the parade. Some of the floats were just on the back of small pick up trucks, some were much more elaborate.

Most of the parade was carried along by music from
speakers set up along the street, but this giant taiko drum
was hauled along for a good part of the parade.

It seemed it took us forever to cover the few blocks to the end of the parade's route! There were TV crews out there, of course, and they zoomed in on the foreigners. And whom did they pick but ME for a close-up! TWICE!
Well, it was quite an experience, one which I won't soon forget. If any of you JETs get a chance to participate in a festival, you've got to take it!

 

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