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Monday, August 27, 2007


The 2007 Honk Parade: Reclaim the Street for Horns, Bikes and Feet!

Sunday, October 7, 2007, 12 noon

An Ambulatory Street Spectacle with 20 Brass Bands and 20 Parading Groups

from Davis Square to Harvard Square
A new element of the 2007 Honk! Festival (an international gathering of twenty activist brass bands--see will be a Giant Parade on Sunday, October 7 from Davis Square in uptown Somerville to Harvard Square in downtown Cambridge, featuring all twenty Honk bands interspersed with twenty different contingents of creative street spectacle and choreography created by artists and community groups, all united by their desire to Reclaim the Street for Horns, Bikes and Feet. Parade participants will honk, roll, strut and stroll from Davis Square to Porter Square, and then down Massachusetts Avenue to Harvard Square.

The Honk Parade will celebrate streets for people, streets for feet, streets for music, and streets for festival. Our goal is the temporary liberation of public thoroughfares from the dominance of car culture, and its replacement with music, colorful spectacle, and dance.

We invite community groups, artists, creative bicyclists, dog-owners, skateboarders, wheelchair dancers, parents with baby strollers, kids with cool bikes, street dancers, theater companies, and others interested in celebratory public performance (no experience necessary) to create colorful, ambulatory, and festive spectacles to be performed in twenty separate moving street spaces approximately 25 feet wide, 60 feet long and 15 feet tall (watch out for trolley wires!), that will alternate with brass bands in the
parade order. We propose that each parade group design images and movements that take up space (both horizontally and vertically) and present compelling images to parade watchers.

Our theme is Reclaim the Street for Horns, Bikes and Feet, and we ask each participating group to articulate their version of this theme in a striking visual manner. We imagine the parade filled with colorful costumes; large flags and banners; giant puppets; weird wheeled contraptions; interesting large-scale choreographies of humans on foot, on bicycles, skateboards, stilts, and wheelchairs; and of course the twenty brass bands separating the parade groups.

Things to consider:

-the bands will provide sound (and lots of it!)

- the parade will travel at a leisurely walking pace (bicyclists should invent choreography to match).

- we are looking for movement and images that go beyond the normal definitions of parading as a simple march down the street, and would love to brainstorm about different possibilities with the parade groups.

- think of using height as well as width and depth.

- consider using big banners and pictures (hello visual artists?).

- we also need volunteers to help us organize the parade on October 7.

Our group represents considerable experience in the creation and production of parades, pageants, and street spectacles, and we are confident we can make the 2007 Honk Parade an exciting spectacle for the Somerville/Cambridge community. We will have our first brainstorming meeting about the Honk Parade on Saturday, September 8 at 2 p.m. at our house (100 Jackson Street in Cambridge) but would be happy to discuss your exciting ideas at any time earlier than that.

Questions? Ideas? Let us know if you can come to the meeting on September 8.

Contact John Bell at or 617 599 3250

And check out the Return of HONK! website:

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