The world’s first Flying Pig Parade is a people-powered “un-parade”
by Glenn Terry
Gainesville is getting a performance like it’s never seen. The world’s first Flying Pig Parade will take wing on Saturday, December 30, at 2 p.m. The downtown satire of a traditional holiday procession will feature a unique brew of home-grown talent. It’ll include hip musicians, dazzling performance artists, towering puppets, and a dozen dancing mosquitoes.
It will be a lot like Coconut Grove’s King Mango Strut Parade, which has produced cascades of laughter since 1982. I co-founded the Strut and ran the show for 30 years. I live here now and am working with a group of talented locals to make the pig fly in G’ville. Ours is a grassroots operation and we volunteer our time. Everyone is welcome to march or join the parade production crew.
We chose the name because aerial oinkers have represented achieving the impossible since Roman times. It also fits in with what many consider Gainesville’s original name, “Hogtown.”
Like the Strut, it’ll be a short parade encouraging participants to slow down and perform for their roadside audience. It begins at Bo Diddley Plaza and marches south to the Hippodrome Theater. The “Pig” will then takes a couple of left turns before returning to the Plaza for a post-parade party.
Ours is an “un-parade.” It will have no commercial sponsors or politicians waving from cars. The Pig will be people-powered. Motorized vehicles will be discouraged except for a few bands playing from flatbed trucks.
Come see us take over the streets to celebrate all that is wild and wonderful about G’ville.
We will also poke fun at all the weird stuff we’ve been through in 2023. You might see presidential contenders in a pillow fight or Elon Musk’s self-driving (cardboard) Teslas colliding with the crowd. Are you passionate about something? Form a group. Angry about book banning? Fire up your banned book barbecue.
Anyone can be in it as long as they’re colorful and entertaining. Participants — and parade day volunteers — can sign up by going to our website, www.FlyingPigParade.org. We encourage you to apply soon as we can only accept the first thirty applicants. Should you have any questions, drop us a line at FlyingPigParade@gmail.com.
It’s time downtown Gainesville got its own, original, awesome parade. If it’s anything like the King Mango Strut, thousands of people will be delighted by our funny, festive, end-of-the-year celebration.