How great was the Ocho de Mayo parade down Cherokee Street on Saturday?
"That was pretty much the greatest thing to ever happen in America," one sombrero-toting hombre was overheard saying a few minutes after the madness stopped.
While that might be mildly overstating things, it was certainly a good time for all involved and, more importantly, an extremely colorful representation of the neighborhood's multi-cultural and artistic renaissance.
From art gallery floats with men in latex gloves and grotesque paper
mache heads playing synthesizers to decked-out girls from St. Cecilia's church
performing traditional Mexican dances to a plant-toting posse from the
newly-formed Cherokee Real community garden to rival, engine-revving
moped and scooter gangs to the Roosevelt High School marching band --
there was something for everyone and then some.
The scene on the streets was equally entertaining -- drunken gringos stirred their piña coladas with tiny Mexican flags, serious Hispanic men posted up in front of storefronts showing off their belt buckles and cowboy boots, artists painting and printmaking and most everyone dancing to local bands or the salsa and reggaeton booming from the speakers on the main stage.
Oh, and there was also tons of delicious food. Like steak tacos:
to see our slideshow to see what else you missed