Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Italians Take Over North Beach

I heard that there would be a parade in North Beach on the holiday formerly known as Columbus Day, but I had no idea it would totally take over the neighborhood and be so much fun. When we walked out of our flat Sunday morning, we found Stockton and Columbus streets lined with tables where people were sitting and eating antipasto and waiting for the parade. Bacchus--the Roman God of Wine--was standing near one of them. He was planning to give wine to all the paraders as they passed. He must have had a lot of it.

Bacchus, the Roman god of wine, getting ready for the Columbus Day parade

Washington Square was full of Ferraris on display. And on Filbert Street, across from Saints Peter and Paul church, an Italian accordion band was playing. Check out the groovy outfits on the musicians.

We hopped on our bikes and road down to the wharf to see the staging area. All kinds of groups were practicing their acts. One that looked fun was the Los Tranchos Woods Community Marching Band. Later, I saw them perform in the parade.

Hundreds of sailors and marines were in town for Fleet Week, and also marched in the parade. They were a big hit with the ladies, as you can tell by the women who run out to pose with the sailors as they pass.

The scene was very casual, with people weaving through the paraders, like these restaurant workers trying to get some food to a table across the street.
Waitresses dash through the parade with a rolling cart of food

One highlight for me was seeing several of my students from the San Mateo High School Marching Band and Color Guard. I followed them around for awhile, trying to get a good video clip. "Ms. Fergusson!" one cried. "Did you come all the way up to San Francisco to see us?"

"No," I laughed. "I live a block away." :)

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