Ain’t No Parade Like A Topanga Parade

‘Cuz a Topanga Parade smells like weed.  This year’s celebration was one for the ages.

Sixteen years ago, my husband and I decided that people suck, so we should make our own.  When deciding where to raise them, we figured, ‘Hippies are Better than Yuppies’ so we landed in Topanga Canyon. We weren’t interested in a community, new friends or even a backyard crop of ganja.  But we found two outta three of those in this place which is consistently colorful, sometimes dark, and always full of characters:


Every Memorial Day morning, the city shuts down our heavily trafficked boulevard for 4 glorious hours and Topanga residents come crawling out of our dens of eccentricity to waive our American flags almost as high as our freak flags. The parade starts at our town center where our littlest residents anxiously anticipate the moment that they can rip their bikes down our normally treacherous thoroughfare:


Then the floats begin.  This is a term that I use loosely, because most Topanga floats consist of a bunch of hippies standing on the back of somebody’s precarious trailer touting an obscure political message:

IMG_6685(if this photo was a scratch & sniff, you’d get a contact high)

And many are just riding something weird wearing something weirder:


Like many great holidays, most of us pretend it’s “all about the kids”, but like Halloween candy and Valentine gestures, the parade is something we actually take pretty seriously. Kids always do get in on the fun:


As a car person, I’m always delighted to see the parade feature some of our senior citizens, even if they don’t make it all the way through:


(Studie did make the first mile. Yay!)

I’m even happier when a vet is driving:


Or a woman:


There is also always plenty of horse power:


(sorry I coudn’t help myself)

But speed is never the goal:


And while Topangans can be self righteously liberal, this one of the times that most leave their judgement at home and welcome all kinds of vehicles, even the ones that get a mile to the gallon:


Of course, politics do manage to creep into the parade. In a distinctly Topanga way:


But the over all message is of love, acceptance and self expression which frankly is the ultimate freedom:


Except for when my buddy decides to ride his lesbian scooter. Mama’s gonna nip that sh*t in the bud:



2 Responses

  1. JANE ANDERSON says:

    Very amusing A! I wish I had pics of the Annual “Pet parade” in Santa Fe – looks like the same people, floats,dogs etc!

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