17th February 2013
Western Park can be sedate and unassuming. Not so on Saturday, 16 February. Twelve years after the last Hero Parade, the reborn Pride Parade enjoyed a successful return to centre stage. Good times were had by all in the family orientated event meaning that anyone accustomed to a San Francisco type extravanganza (NSFW) would be disappointed.
News reports have exalted the New Zealand Defence Force for their change in policy to allow military personnel to take part in uniform. Judging them to be the star of the show would not have been an easy feat with serious competition coming from one man in particular. Nestled at the back of an ancient Rome styled float, a solo hot dog bounced his way down Ponsonby Rd to great applause. Unfortunately, such was his speed and energy, photographic proof escaped me this time.
Much more was on offer though than just a crazed frankfurter. While at another time the boys in blue may object to a man in minimalist leather walking down the middle of Ponsonby Rd, today was not the day. This would free our Police to ponder more pressing matters such as whether there’s a better way to secure their microphones than with rubber bands or whether a metal cod piece would be a suitable addition to their stab-proof vests.
Overall, the sweet smell of success for organiser, Jonathan Smith. An afternoon enjoyed by thousands and hopefully a return to being an annual fixture.