I just saw the photos from a parade in San Francisco. It was about 80 people who were part of a wedding party. Lovely. They had gotten a parade permit for the five block walk from their wedding ceremony in Chinatown to their dinner party at a private athletic club.
In the early 1980’s I was being forced to close the Drunk Park on 6th Street that I had created. The Examiner newspaper had run three front page articles attacking the park with false stories and fabricated data. The mayor, Dianne Feinstein, was publicly attacking the park after two years of its success in the neighborhood. (She wanted the Democratic Party Convention the following year to come to San Francisco.) Drunk Park had reduced crime and dramatically reduced the street people population. The neighborhood loved it, so did the park habitues.
I realized that the forces of Puritanism would win. My Glide Board was Protestant and could not weather the Puritan pressure against the park. I had tried to give the park to Mother Teresa’s order in San Francisco but after six months they had still been unable to get permission from Mother Teresa.
I was depressed. Puritanism had conquered care and decency.
My staff, including the staff at the park, found a solution. They had a parade for me. (No one got a permit.) The route was about 10 blocks long. From Glide Church, to Market St., up Market to City Hall. At City Hall I was presented an award: a certificate of honor voted on by the Board of Supervisors and signed by the Mayor. (One of the women I was dating at the time was a supervisor.) There were about 70 people in the parade and many musical instruments.
It worked. I loved my parade.