Mayor Mark Mallory led off the parade. Earlier he'd walked down the sidewalk toward Sentinel where the session was forming through a totally oblivious crowd.
He was just another Black man in a suit, walking with a guy dressed in yellow. No body guards, nothing to indicate that the Mayor of the Queen City was among us.
It would have been nice to see a placard on the side of his car, telling those who didn't know...and seemingly most didn't, who the man in the convertible was......
Jim Tarbell, who is now running for Hamilton
County Commissioner and Congressman Steve
Driehaus also took part in the parade, while
every other local politician managed to be
somewhere else on this festive day..
There were no protesters in evidence which was a marked change from past celebrations. Did see one tall thin Black man dressed head to toe in hot black wool, it looked like. He was turbaned with a black scarf to cover his face, standing in front of the Fountain with a massive and very worn copy of what appeared to be a Bible of some kind. He was just standing there, doing a slow motion twirl, seemingly trying to decide whether or not to approach anyone. He never did while I watched him.
"Queers!" erupted from the mouth of one homeless guy talking to another as I crowd watched. It wasn't bigotry, it was more like a guy trying to make his deaf companion hear above the noise and the word Queer was the shorthand to understanding. Once understanding was reached the pair decided to take their naps this day in Lytle Park.
The overwhelming feeling of this pride was how normal and non controversial it turned out to be. The parade was fun, and the people were there for a good time. The crowd was mixed, singles, couples, couples with dogs and families with kids....looked like any other holiday in America...and that was cool...
Entertainment kicked off the Cincinnati Mens Chorus, followed by a Janis Joplin sound alike, local great Tracey Walker, another singer, obviously a crowd favorite whose name I don't know and finally the lady everyone was waiting for....Deborah Cox...who did not disappoint...Lady can sang....no lip sync...all voice...all real....Beyonce...Janet...Gaga...take note...real pipes cannot be replaced with studio magic...