Archive for D.C. Funk Parade 2019

Photo Essay: Life In Trump’s America May Be A Toxic Mess — But for One Day in May D.C.’s Funk Parade Is The Antidote

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on May 12, 2019 by johnbuckley100
All images Leica Monochrom

This morning, we went out for waffles, it being Mother’s Day and all. The mom in this household declared that, given the present day shit show in America, you have to take pleasure where you can find it. In an instant, I knew why I so love Washington’s annual Funk Parade, which took place yesterday.

I don’t think I went to the first one, in 2014, but by 2015 it was clear that this magical day is a moment when everyone in our large and sometimes troubled, multi-racial city could rally around one thing: the joy of music being played outdoors. We were pretty amazed then at how big the crowd was, and how happy people were. In the fateful year of 2016, we concluded that Saturday of the Funk Parade was the best day of the year to live in D.C. How little we appreciated, back in those innocent days, just what we had.

By 2017, having spent every free weekend since Trump’s inauguration attending joyous but still angry demonstrations, it was like a holiday just to revel in the funk. Last year, in sunshine, I shot in color and if you’d like to get a sense of what this event is like on a beautiful sunny day, you can click here.

You go to the Funk Parade, in part, for the music being played everywhere on U Street in the hours before the main event. Yesterday at the bandshell at the Africa American Civil War Memorial, The Archives, an awesome reggae band, played in the prime slot as the parade drew near. Puma Ptah, The Archives’ charismatic singer from St. Thomas, left the audience slack-jawed at the sound.

All the way over, on virtually every block, there were bands worth listening to, with appreciative crowds grazing from the offerings.

It’s a street fair, it’s a party, it’s D.C.’s Mardi Gras. Before the parade, friends greeted friends and neighbors hung together, and new friends were made on every street corner.

As always, the most fun thing to do was people watch and take in the spectacle.

We loved all the parents who brought their children to see what the event was all about.

The crowds were a little smaller this year because it threatened rain — and alas, when the parade was nearly over, the weather gods made good on that threat.

But as always, the parade itself was good natured and fun, and we even saluted our mayor, who never really looks like she’s having a good time.

Before it got too wet, all the performers seemed the love the opportunity to be out there with us.

And even as it began to pour, and we ended up having to bolt lest cameras dissolve in the rain, we looked around at the crowd, as moved as we were by this event in our Capital City.

The world is a mess, but at least those of us in the Capital, waiting out the occupation… at least we have the Funk Parade.

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