What Fools We Mortals (Love To) Be!

Some Quirkutopians on parade; Fools Day Parade in Occidental, CA. Photo by David Green

Nowhere is someone more likely to make a fool of himself than in the Quirkutopian town of Occidental in west Sonoma County, CA. There Quirkutopians have been perfecting the art of being foolish for years. In 1979 musician-writer-artist Ramon Sender started the Parade of Fools on April Fools Day. There was a hiatus for some years after Ramon moved away. Then in 2004 when politics and war were getting to everyone, Kate Price, a quirky fool of the highest caliber, decided to revive the tradition. The response was overwhelming and Ramon returned for the occasion.

Now Keystone cops, stiltwalkers, clowns, jellyfish umbrella-ed octopi, bagpipers, roller bladers, tuba players, Morris dancers, pirates, and things too fierce to mention invade the town at 1 p.m. on the closest Sunday to April Fools Day (this year they coincide) and parade through town one way, then parade through town the other way ending up at the town art center where they cavort the afternoon away. A bizarre ride called the Lunarpillar always shows up to give foolish children free rides.

The Lunarpillar gives aspiring young Fools a ride at the Fools Day celebration in Occidental, CA. Photo by Kate Broderson

The Keystone cops maintain disorder, the Hubbub Club and other bands of roving musicians provide music, and everyone supplies each others’ entertainment. It makes the rest of the year bearable even when it is an election year.

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2 responses to “What Fools We Mortals (Love To) Be!

  1. How fun. I’d love that.

  2. Just wait ’til you see the gals who bring up the rear of the parade with big plastic rear ends on! And the elevated potty “throne” for the king and queen of the parade! We’ll try and get pics today..

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