Day 4: June 7, 2015
Parade in the Park

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I booked my room via telephone and, after the owner verified that a room was available, he asked if I was sure I wanted to stay on those dates. That was the weekend of Jersey Pride, he said. It took me a few seconds but I eventually figured out he was talking about a gay, as in "gay pride", event. I generally side -- in a non-militant sort of way -- with the LGBT community. Their gathering sure wasn't going to keep me away from Willie Nile and the Stone Pony. In fact, after I learned a little about it, I started looking forward to it, especially the parade.

The motel owner had thought the parade was on Saturday but everything, including the parade, was Sunday. I checked out of my room, verified that I could leave my car in the motel lot for a few hours, then headed toward the boardwalk. The festival would take place in two open blocks by the old convention center. Cutting diagonally through one of these had become part of my normal path toward the shore area. This would soon require purchase of a wristband to enter but I passed through one last time as preparations progressed.

The closest thing to breakfast I'd seen in the immediate area was a shop in the convention center that advertised "breakfast sandwiches". I took my time consuming a bacon & egg sandwich but still had lots of time to kill before the parade. This is the result. A really big cup in a watery play area on the boardwalk slowly fills with water then dumps it in one big splash. I'd seen it a few times in passing on Saturday (it wasn't operating Friday) but hung around long enough today to get a picture of the dump. Watching surf crash against rock is always a good way to pass time. Some gulls spent a little time at the rock I was watching after being flushed by a jogger. Later, as I continued strolling along the boardwalk, I heard an unusual call from overhead and looked you to see what I took to be four swans in flight. I got the straggler.

Parade time, high noon, approached. Its start point was somewhere uptown and its end point at the fenced in and canopy filled area by the convention center. I headed a few blocks away to where the last turn would be made. I reached there some minutes before noon. The parade leading balloon rainbow arrived about 12:20. The bikers were close behind on rumbling Harleys and some quieter two-wheelers, too.

Next was the first of many beauty queens and the first of a couple marching bands. This was the Big Apple Corp from New York City.

Then came a bit of the circus (with a marching band from Philadelphia right behind) and a bit of politics. The cast from a local live production of Rocky Horror was almost completely past before I realized it and I got only this shot of Frank N Furter.

The parade ended just a block from my motel. Floats and other units that didn't enter the actual festival area were disbanding and otherwise using the local streets so I ducked into a local watering hole to allow things to clear a little. When I did head out of town, I passed some fairly far flung indicators of what was currently happening in Asbury Park and the town's welcoming attitude.

The 1954 Circus Drive-In, about a half dozen miles down the road, seemed to perfect spot for lunch/dinner. A real carhop took and delivered my order without any electronics involved at all. Non-meal photos were take as I walked around after eating. It looks like eating inside would be fun, too. There's a better picture of the big clown here.

In nearby Belmar, an eight foot version of Bruce Springsteen's Fender Esquire stands at the corner of 10th Avenue and E Street. Yes, THAT E Street. Maybe, THAT 10th Avenue.

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