All Species Parade 2017

A Sunny, Successful, Sanctuary for All Species Parade

Rob DiPerna and Briana Villalobos of EPIC pose under their Richardson Grove State Park umbrella. Photo courtesty of Rob DiPerna.

Rob DiPerna and Briana Villalobos of EPIC pose under their Richardson Grove State Park umbrella at the All Species Parade on September 16, 2017. Photo courtesy of Rob DiPerna.

September 16 marked another successful All Species Parade! This festive celebration of all species, organized by the NEC, crowded the Arcata plaza with wolves, spiders, owls and more as it marched through the North Country Fair. The Trillium Dance Studio led the parade as a flock of butterflies, followed by Bandemonium and a youth drumline. The HSU River Otter Citizen Science Project, clad as a romp of river otters, walked alongside 350 Humboldt as they bobbed a school of salmon overhead. Folks from the Arcata Playhouse teetered behind with stilt walkers and grand masked puppeteers, and towards the back came the Pacific Alliance for Indigenous and Environmental Action with their Log Walk to Heal the Forest. Hundreds of other critters hopped, crawled, and slithered alongside to the beat of the booming music.

The theme of this year’s parade was Sanctuary for All Species, to promote the importance of our public lands and conservation—particularly in the context of our current administration’s threats to National Monuments and other protected areas. To represent that theme, umbrellas were decorated  to represent a variety of public lands including Patricks Point State Park, Marine Protected Areas, and Yellowstone. The Mountain Lion Federation, the HSU Art Education Club, EPIC, and others contributed to decorating these beautiful representative sanctuaries. When the band gave a special queue, the parade’s species ran for protection under their nearest umbrella.

The weather was warm and welcoming, and the streets were were bustling with fair-goers and paraders of all ages. Many attendees arrived wearing masks made at the NEC’s Parade workshop at the Sanctuary earlier in the month, a tradition that we hope to continue.
We at the NEC are greatly looking forward to planning many future celebrations for all species. We heartedly thank the Same Old People, organizers of the North Country Fair, for creating the space for this wonderful event and helping fund parade preparations. Special thanks to 350 Humboldt for helping to purchase the umbrellas. And, of course, many thanks to everyone who participated and donated their time and creativity to make the Parade a colorful, joyous experience!

The All Species Parade is a unique celebration of the biodiversity that we seek to protect, and to spread the knowledge that every ant, avian, and animal is significant. We hope that you enjoyed the parade, and that it was a pleasant and fun reminder of the importance of all species and the sanctuaries that they depend on.

Click here for more 2017 All Species Parade photos in our Flickr gallery!

And here's more fabulous photos by Mark Larson for the North Coast Journal.