The 31st annual edition of Coconut Grove’s hugely successful spoof of the year’s news, the King Mango Strut, entertained thousands. The streets were full of happy visitors, locals and those who just happened to be there for what is billed as the ‘Weirdest Parade in the Universe’.
The parade theme for 2012 was ‘Falling off the Fiscal Cliff’ as its poster spoofed a popular book of the year plugging ’50 Shades of Mango’. Headlines came roaring back with satires of the Miami Marlins (children in Marlin’s uniforms) Gangnam style (A large choreographed group that promoted legalization of marijuana in Florida as ‘Ganja Style’) General Betray Us and the 1% as ‘Mis-understood millionaires’ thanked parade goers for ‘giving, so we can take’ and offering jobs in small foreign countries.
The chair that Clint Eastwood ‘spoke to’ at the Republican convention was chosen as the Grand Marshall. It gave no interviews, and never even waved to the crowd from its perch in the convertible. It was a hit nonetheless, and so was the Eastwood look-alike.
The iconic Twinkie was the focus of a couple of groups when Deborah Crisp arrived as the last Hostess employee selling the Twinkies attached to her white coat and a large group from M.E.N.S.A. all dressed in black and somber in sunglasses mourned the much loved junk food.
Kenny Wynn wore a Python suit with a target on his back spoofing the open season on pythons in the Everglades. His name tag read ‘Monty’.
Castro in a wheel-chair and his BFF Hugo Chavez on a gurney appeared, accompanied by nurses (Antoinette Baldwin as his eye candy care-giver) and physicians as the crowd booed them almost as much as the Governor Rick Scott look-alike.
Bands Mr. Rhee, The 18 Wheelers, Road Kill and the ‘School of Rock’ provided a musical boost and got people dancing in the street as Commodore Highway was closed off after the parade for the ensuing street party.
Daniel McCleod, long-time local singer and musician sang and played congas with the Mr Rhee band as revelers swayed to his smooth tunes. It was the perfect capper for a year many needed to laugh at as they danced the afternoon away.