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    The Procession of Species

    An annual parade in Olympia, Washington State, USA brings families, teens, and old folks together in celebration of the life on our planet.

    A popular event in Olympia, Washington is the Procession of Species.  The townsfolk arrive early to grab the best viewing spots along the route.

    For families, the parade is an opportunity to dress up and walk down Main Street together.

    Groups of friends, of all ages, gathered hours before the official start to practice their street routines.

    For the children  . . . heaven!

    The parade rules were simple: any species that lives in the air, under the sea, or on the land . . . and NO motorized vehicles.

    I wandered the pre-parade staging areas for these portraits of the communities' creativity.

    The kids were ready.  Cute.

    The city came around with wagons full of colored chalk for the children . . . . and came around later to collect the unused chalk.

    Bird Girl!

    Floats . . . getting ready to parade.

    Stilted sea creatures arriving for the parade.

    Final adjustments for comfort before the long march.

    Some of the children 'street artists' were very good.

    A large crowd began to assemble for the parade.

    Wherever you have a large crowd, buskers will appear.

    The clouds looked threatening . . . .

    The Olympia city center was closed for the afternoon.

    Olympia, being a state capitol, is a political town.

    Town characters . . . The Goddess of Trash, "One day, everything you have will be mine!" she exclaimed.

    Old Olympia.

    The crowds began to gather around the town square in front of the old state capitol building.

    A marvelous xylophone band played in the square gazebo . . . . . and then . . . and then . . .

     . . . and then a break-dancing Superman entertained the crowd . . . and then . . .

    And then the Boys in Blue separated the crowd to the sidewalks . . .

    And then there was a buzz in the air as the start of the parade approached.

    A fantastic scene approached!
    A parade of homemade costumes and floats.  America celebrating itself.

    I loved this Mantis costume . . . and wanted one too.

    Citizens parading.

    Its fun to dress up in a costume and walk through your town.

    The families that 'floated' together were my favorites.

    The ladies I saw practicing before the parade did well . . . and garnered much applause.

    Some of the costumes were very creative!  The Human Fly really scared some of the children . . . in good fun.

    OOOOO! BBBBBZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!

    A fly eye!  Spooky!  Creative.

    Even the morose teens joined in!

    Jellyfish were very popular.

    Fantastic colors of the jellyfish!

    Some of the jellyfish were simply beautiful.

    These jellyfish were very creative . . . they would rise, fill with air, then propel themselves around . . .

    Lots of jellyfish . . . and a narwhal.

    The sun finally came out and dried off the dampness.  There were many troupes of dancers.

    With the dancers came the drummers . . . 

    And more dancers!

    Having fun with your chums.  A good day.

    Getting into it!

    Parade parrot.
    A fish when closed, a butterfly when open.

    Some of the 'species' were very large . . . like this frog . . .

    23 people were needed to manipulate this giant peacock down the avenue.  Beautiful!

    A very large flying insect buzzing around.

    Just plain folks out having a good day.

    A couple of wizards showed up as well.

    Fun for the whole family.
    Sister mushrooms?

    A creative starfish.
    A great day out frightening the kids . . .

    A rare 20 foot street shark . . . they would drag the crowd with the tail . . . as the children would scream!

    How much does it rain in Olympia?  So much, that they have to actually carry the sun!
    For a few, it was a long day . . . . might want to use larger wheels next year . . . and grease those bearings too . . .

    This group were fantastic dancers with a wonderful routine.

    An energetic and diverse group of very good dancers having a ball!

    And then the last of the floats passed by . . . and the parade was over.
    Time to go home . . . and enjoy the sweet memories.

    But I don't want to go home . . .
    Do we have to go home NOW!

    And that was that, as they say.

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