Back in my grad school days a bunch of us would don some festive Mardi Gras masks bought at a discount from the local party supplies store and become spectators in the very wild and always surprising West Hollywood's Halloween Carnaval.
For the open minded throngs who frequent this drag-fest of the costumed drag-gest, it's an unforgettable sojourn into a world beyond the realm of even Mr. Toad's Wild Ride at Disneyland...at least it was for straight-as-an-arrow me and my equally straight Oklahoma-native girlfriend (now my wife).
The best year we ever experienced was the parade which took place after the release of The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (queue Abba music about now). No parade advertised as "off-beat" and irreverent has yet to match that particular Halloween night in West Hollywood.
Which brings me to our families recent parade experience at what many fellow Okie's have branded, the wild and wackiest Halloween parade that Oklahoma has to offer; Ghouls Gone Wild.
While the parade was far outside the pomp and circumstances norm for street festival fair in Oklahoma, both my Wife and I were sorely disappointed in the lack of outrageous costumes (okay, the 10-foot tall Aliens were pretty cool), and politically correctness demonstrated by the participants.
That's right. Not one drag queen dressed as Sarah Palin (or Tina Fey for that matter). Only one George Bush and one John McCain. No Obama's. No Biden's. No Sally Kern's. The corporate sponsored floats out-counted the others by 2:1 and the biggest jeer drawn from the crowd was for a local attorney, his name and law practice grossly gracing the side of the pick-up he was riding in.
Even Pasadena's daytime Doo-Dah Parade would score higher for satirical costumes and flamboyant hi-jinks than Ghouls's Gone Wild.
Granted, the parade was billed as a family affair, and both of our girl's had a great time -- even when the marching zombie's would charge at them, sending them screaming into our arms.
Still and all, the highlight and crescendo that the parade builds to with much deserved braggadocio is the March of the 1000 Flaming Skeletons, led/followed by the boneyard sponsor (and purchaser of the skeleton costumes), Wayne Coyne of the successful local band, The Flaming Lips.
There are plenty of YouTube clips featuring the march, but this clip captures it in essence and won't tax your DSL line to download it.
File this blog entry under, "Things to do in Oklahoma that don't involve OU, farming, hunting, or eating chicken fried steak."