Well my busy weekend last weekend was crowned by the West End Festival up in Kelvingrove Park in Glasgow. The weather was a little unsure of itself and there was a cold breeze at times, but in the end the sun did shine for most of the afternoon.
But as always, the big draw of the day is the carnival style parade. This year we were treated to several bands and drum groups from Samba ya bamba, the ladies of Sheboom and Juba Do Leao to name but a few. Of course, there were the dancers as well, who are always a big draw and lots of fun to watch and admire. The dancers of Juba Do Leao were new to me and put a lot of feeling into their skirt swishing. Suraya and her bellydancers were a delight in pink. The Mirage Arabic Dancers were an array of beauty and grace (or as one of them told me "We're called Mirage, because you see us, but you won't believe your eyes!).
As well as the bands and the dancers, several local and community groups made their contribution to the event with colourful dragons, imaginative costumes and colourful birds.
It's great to see the energy at an event like this. The crowds are encouraging and by turns entertained, appreciative and amazed. Tthe performers are happy and give their all and we photographers get to take lots of pictures that wouldn't be out of place in Rio!
There were several weird and wonderful moments for me.
In the Before the Parade set you will see a horse drawn hearse. This made a couple of passes up and down the road before disappearing just before the parade. In the same set are pictures of two Irish girls looking for Buchanan Street (a good mile or so away) and who then decided they wanted their pictures taken because then they would be famous (and yes I did try and explain that I was just taking pictures for fun!).
The Hear Glasgow Stage was at the edge of the skatepark, so the audience was gathered at the edges and the kids continued skating and biking, apparently oblivious to anything else. You'll see some of this stage in The Bands set.
I finally got up the nerve (and the stamina to get to the parade at the end) to get some group shots of Suraya's dancers, the Mirage ladies and some of the Samba Queens.
I got a little carried away with photos, but if you'd like to see more, then they are available on my Flickr site in several different sets.