Art Attack – We love a parade
For such a tiny city we sure host a whole lot of parades. In fact we held four in just the past 10 days. We went from Zombie to Folk Festival to Veterans to a Porsche parade in a blink of an eye. Eureka Springs is a town that loves to play dress-up, and there doesn’t seem to be any shortage of creative characters who want to dazzle.
We count on, and should be grateful to, the many people who put in so much creative time and energy making our annual parades such a big success. And while some of these costumes and floats are awarded prize money, more often than not, the cash barely covers the cost of materials, never mind the hours spent working on them.
A Eureka parade would not seem complete without resident clown Margo Pirkle who has been making kids and grownups smile for thirty-plus years, and ditto to Eureka Gras King, Zeek Taylor, who has participated in more parades then you can shake a stick at and continues to wow.
And if Zeek is King, then Valerie Damon is surely Queen. The artist and children’s book illustrator uses her face as canvas, brilliantly creating her mythical personas with face paint and fabric.
Then there are the parade performers who regularly entertain. Angelo Yao and his band of African drummers and dancers; belly dancer Lorna Trigg and her troupe of lovely ladies (and now one gentleman), and part-time resident and puppet maker George Myer who gathers his usual suspects to parade down Spring St.
Add Wendi La Fey’s über feminine ideal, Sparky’s outrageous balloon ensembles, Melanie Linker’s fire and hoops, Jack Miller’s artistic floats and Dan Ellis’s enthusiasm and you pretty much have a fun and entertaining parade.
A short list of some of my favorite parade highlights: MainStage’s story-high puppet of Frida Kahlo, a very blue Poco Carter, the first Art Car parade, Mark Hughes’ butterfly costume complete with pollen spewing flower, Steve Holst’s green spewing dragon, Geralyn Hartman’s green tinted St. Patrick’s Day horses, the Christmas parade float with a live Jesus in a white flowing robe nailed to the cross, Yoanka, and anything put out there by Valerie Damon.
Thanks to everyone who participates in our cascade of parades. As a photographer in this town, I am never short on photo-ops.