Sunday, June 7, 2009

Alpha Lodge on parade

Montclair, New Jersey’s annual African-American Heritage Parade and Festival took place yesterday. Hundreds of marchers representing a variety of groups, from Masonic lodges to the Stiletto Rydaz Motorcycle Club, marched through the heart of this historic township.

Part of the Alpha Lodge contingent gathers at the starting point waiting for the parade to begin.

Alpha Masons and Prince Hall Masons mingle before the start of the parade. In addition to the Alpha brethren and those from other area lodges, the parade included Prince Hall Masons from Eureka Lodge No. 52, and Shriners from Golconda Temple No. 24.

The Orange High School Marching Tornadoes line up and get ready to hit the road.

Many classic cars were in the parade. Shown here: a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air; a hot rod Cadillac; and a really souped up Chevy Nova.

Whether lining the streets or observing from their stoops, Montclair residents turned out in great numbers to watch this colorful and loud procession.

The downside about marching in a parade of course is you actually miss the parade. Alpha Lodge was near the front of the procession, nearly at its head, so it was tough to photograph most of the sights.

Above: This happy fellow is available from a local antiques dealer we marched past. Naturally it reminds one of Sir Francis Bacon’s coat of arms, so I took it as fortuitous that it decorated our parade route. Price: $180, but the Magpie Mason was assured it can be had for $120.

Below: One of the homes we passed in a residential area dominated by 100-year-old Victorians is guarded by knights in... well, evidently not shining armor, but armor nevertheless.

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