Sunday, May 6, 2012

Cinco de Mayo in St.Louis

St.Louis has had some very hot weather lately. It has been more like July here rather than the beginning of May. Consequently the strawberry crops in this area are well along into their season, which is usually more toward the end of May. So yesterday morning,  hoping to find some sweet local berries,  we headed to downtown St.Louis and the Soulard Farmers Market.
We got wise very soon at the market- California and Florida strawberries were about $2.50 a quart, local strawberries were about a dollar more. No problem for us as to which strawberries we should purchase! Also now being grown locally are spinach, lettuce, asparagus and a small quantity of rhubarb. It did not take very long for our shopping bags to be filled and we were ready for lunch. Knowing that a Cinco De Mayo parade was soon happening on Cheokee Street, we decided to stop there for lunch. This part of St.Louis is south of downtown, and use to be John's old stomping grounds when he worked for Concordia Publishing House. Currently Cherokee Street is famous for its many antique stores and Mexican cuisine. We found our lunch at a Mexican restaurant and,  just as we were walking back to the car,  we came upon the parade.
The Cherokee Street area more recently has become a rapidly growing environment of art and entertainment. It seemed to me that much of the parade lacked an Hispanic theme but had more to do with the businesses of the area. In the parade we saw a "First Punch Film Production Truck", as well as people carrying a sign which said "Gateway to Agape"- one of the people carrying it wore a shirt which offered free hugs. There were some things in the parade which I so totally did not understand, maybe I had to live in the area to do so.
Another truck in the parade had painted on it " Pig Slop 4 Life" and another said "May These Changes Make US Light".  We saw everything from the ridiculous to the sublime with a lot of funk in between. The parade ended with a procession of cars from the Volvo Car Club.  I guess what mattered is that everyone was happy and seemed to be caught up in the festival spirit of the day.

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