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BEST PARADE Minneapolis 2002 - Celebrate Nordeast

A good parade tickles everybody. "The old and young at heart" are easy marks, of course, but there is also a delightful quotient of pomp and circumstantial kitsch for the more cynically inclined. And when it comes to that difficult-to-achieve blend of cornball poignance and sardonic sweetness, we recommend the oom-grand-pa-pa of the annual high-steppin' and elderly-shuffling, Celebrate Northeast (formerly known as the Eastside Community Parade). Royalty rules atop the fancy convertibles supplied by local car dealers, a perfumed chiffon extravaganza that includes not only the likes of Miss Columbia Heights and Miss Shakopee, but also Mr. and Mrs. Highrise from the 'hood. A procession of pols trolls the asphalt, courting voters regardless of whether it's an election year. But what makes this such a meritorious affair is the continuity of the community in stolid Nordeast. You might espy a dozen venerable members of Edison High, Class of '53, riding by in an ersatz cable car--if they're not playing in the Edison Alumni band that day. With the Minneapolis skyline looming in the background, the ambiance is one of small-town intimacy, with a big-city flourish.

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