A Sunday parade

Lyon always has lots going on, especially on weekends, which makes studying here a real pleasure. This past Sunday there was a parade on the city’s “presqu’ile,” which means “almost island.” It’s a peninsula formed by the two rivers that run through Lyon that is full of shops, restaurants, people, and (recently) paraders.

The parade was a blast to attend. It was made up mostly of people on roller skates dressed in monochromatic outfits (orange, blue, gold, etc.) who were carrying bunches of bizarrely-shaped mylar balloons. Some people had five or six balloons on a string, some were carrying huge canopies of balloons attached to staffs, and some people carried balloon arches that twisted and stretched because there were a lot of people who weren’t very good at roller skating. Besides balloons, the parade also included a fake boat that hosted musicians as well as large clouds of glittery confetti.

The parade started at the top of the peninsula and made it’s way down to an open square where there were performances and music. There were even free dance lessons taught en masse. The parade kicked off a almost month-long dance event called the Biennale de Lyon. Throughout the next few weeks there are going to be tons of dance performances, free public dance lessons, and opportunities to interact with dance (woohoo!). After that parade, I am excited to get to see more of the dancing that’s going to be taking place here.

After a while, the heat got to be a little too much, so the group I was with decided to head to a restaurant, which was fine because we could still hear the parade’s music going on in the square nearby. More dance events are coming soon – hopefully I’ll be able to attend. Until then, apparently there is going to be a Mexican festival here this weekend (with real Mexican food, my number one thing I miss from home), so I have that to look forward to – weekends in Lyon are great!

Charley Guptill