Haitian Day Parade
5/23/10


Photo by Rasheem Franklin

The East Orange Unified Marching Band arrived in Lincoln Park, Newark, NJ about 12:00 noon, ready to march and perform. As they assembled in the cool shade of the park, little did they know that the start of the parade would be delayed about two hours.


Photo by Rasheem Franklin

The band spent their waiting time exercising and practicing in one of the near-by parking lots which served as a staging area.


Photo by Rasheem Franklin

Even after the band moved into position on the street, there was still a long delay while the other parade units got into position. The band was undeterred and simply played for the people on the sidewalk and the other units who were also waiting for the parade to begin.


Photo by Rasheem Franklin

When the parade finally got under way, bringing up the rear of the Marching Band was Mr. Goode's car, transformed into an "instant float" and bearing the Cicely Tyson Community School Banner.


Photo by Al-Quadir Marsh

The parade was hours late by the time they made it from Lincoln Park at the south end of Broad Street to Military Park at the north end. This is what we saw as the parade approached Military Park. The parade was led by two mounted officers from the Newark Police Department, followed by ten (or so) officers on motorcycles. Newark's finest were also stationed at every corner along the parade route, keeping traffic moving whenever the parade paused.


Photo by Al-Quadir Marsh

Next came the parade marshals. I don't know any names, so we'll need some help from the parade's organizers if they want to fill in the blanks here.


Photo by Al-Quadir Marsh

I'm guessing that the actor on the white horse in the foreground represented Toussaint L'Ouverture, but I'm sure Toussaint never wore sun-glasses, so perhaps I'm wrong. Anyway, everyone loved the horses and the costumes and the music in the background.


Photo by Al-Quadir Marsh

This float was dated January 12, 2010, the date Haiti was struck by a devastating earthquake, but the message of the float is "Rebuild and Restore."


Photo by Jim Gerrish

The next float was a "Salute to the Haitian Community from the Newark Municipal Council." It featured a DJ and dancers.

 


Photo by Al-Quadir Marsh

At last came the marching unit that we had been awaiting for hours, the East Orange Unified Marching Band. The band staff and the band parents wear red uniforms.

You can also access this video directly through YouTube.


Photo by Rasheem Franklin

Just so you can put names to the backs of these staff members, L to R is Rasheem Franklin, Percussion Instructor, Kevin Lyons, Associate Band Director, and Frederick Goode, Band Director. How Rasheem managed to take the photo and be in it at the same time, I have no idea, but I suspect he had help.


Photo by Al-Quadir Marsh

At the end of the parade, the band took a sudden right turn off Broad Street into Military Park. The Haitian Parade continued for several more marching units behind them, but I am sure others will have photos of the entire event; our focus was on our East Orange Unified Marching Band, as usual.


Photo by Al-Quadir Marsh

The band marched right through Military Park and onto the waiting buses for the ride back to East Orange. They were tired, but happy the parade was over and happy to have been a part of such an historic event.

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