Kathy Miller was still getting the hang of walking with a macaw puppet overhead an hour before the start of Saturday’s Procession of the Species.
“Everyone keeps asking me, ‘Are you sore?’ ” said Miller, who led the Samba Olywa dancers in the annual march. “It went well in the practice, but I’m a little challenged today trying to get it to stay on.”
Hundreds of participants and many more spectators came out for the 24th annual Procession of the Species, celebrating the natural world by way of elaborate costumes, large-scale puppets and floats on wheels.
Participants are divided into four elements. While Earth traditionally has the largest contingent, this year about as many people represented the water category, from porpoises and jellyfish to mussel-encrusted pilings and a giant deep-sea anglerfish.
(Water was also a star Friday night, unfortunately: The Luminary Procession, Procession of the Species’ after-dark sister event featuring sculptural lanterns, got rained out.)
One of the largest creations in Saturday's march was a 20-foot-long tree frog that took a dozen people to move down the street, placing the feet in a choreographed sequence so that it “walked” and “leaped” along the 13-block route.
This was 6-year-old Violet Rocchio’s first time participating in the march.
“I’m excited because I’ve never been in it before,” said Violet, who came as a butterfly with members of her Daisy troop.
By the time the Samba Olywa dancers came up Legion Way as the march’s grand finale, Miller — their leader with the macaw puppet overhead — was swooping like a pro.