Fri, Oct 19, 2018 - Page 14 News List

Highlight: A day for dreamers

By Diane Baker  /  Staff reporter

Some samba dancers and what surely has to be one of the oldest stilt-walking clowns in the world practice their routines in front of Liberty Plaza in Taipei on Oct. 21 last year ahead of the start of the annual Dream Parade, which takes place tomorrow.

Photo: CNA

The annual Dream Parade, sponsored by the Dream Community (夢想社區) in New Taipei City’s Sijhih District (汐止), will see several blocks of Taipei between the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial, Renai Road and Ketagalan Boulevard filled tomorrow with samba drumming bands, floats, puppets, dancers — including one 88-year-old samba grannie — stilt walkers, fire breathers and a lot of craziness.

It was Dream Community founder Gordon Tsai’s (蔡聰明) idea to create a mash-up of New Orleans’ Mardi Gras, Brazilian carnival and Burning Man: the beads and costumes of Mardi Gras, the floats and samba dancers of Brazil and the grassroots creations that are the hallmark of the desert festival in Nevada.

The theme float of this year’s parade, created by Indonesian artists from Bali, is called ROBOGAN, and was built with recycled materials.

Tsai and his team also invited artists from France, Germany, Sweden, Ireland, Australia and Japan, some of who have been in Sijhih several months to build floats and other props and costumes for this year’s parade.

There will also be teams made up of Dream Community residents, students from high schools and universities around Taipei and New Taipei City, as well as members of the Brazilian community in Taiwan.

While most participants join the parade for fun, the youngsters in the samba drumming bands, from schools in indigenous communities nationwide, have their eyes set on winning the National Dream Cup Samba Drum competition. Each of the dozen or so teams have earned their trip to Taipei by winning elimination rounds closer to home earlier in the year.

Judges positioned along the parade route will rate them on their costumes, choreography, presentation and drumming, and the winning team will win some cash and musical instruments for their school and trophies and medals for themselves.

Photo enthusiasts hoping to get good shots of parade participants should show up between 2pm and 3pm at Liberty Plaza as the teams and other participants are assembling, or positioning, themselves before the parade starts along Renai Rd.

■ The parade runs from 3pm to 6pm, rain or shine

■ The starting point is Liberty Plaza; participants then progress up Zhongshan S Road (中山南路) to Renai Road (仁愛路), where they turn right and head toward Linsen S Road (林森南路) before making a U-turn that sends them back to Zhongshan and then across to Ketagalan Boulevard

■ There will be a post-parade party with live music on the block of Ketagalan Boulevard between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Taipei Guest House from 6pm to 9pm

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