Sunday, August 14, 2011

Zurich and the Street Parade

Coincidentally, serendipitously, wonderfully, my dear friend, Laura, returned home to Switzerland for the weekend, just as I was finishing up my (tor)Tour of duty. This is how my Zurich came to be part of the itinerary on my whirlwind european vacation.

It's my first time to the city and, in some ways, the city is exactly as I had expected. In other ways, it is not. This weekend is Street Parade. For me, hearing the term Street Parade conjures visions of glittery floats, marching bands and beauty queens.
At best, I might imagine Ferris Bueller belting out the lyrics to Twist and Shout atop a float as it makes its way down Madison Avenue for the Macy's parade.
This can't begin to describe what Street Parade means in Switzerland. 900,000 people descending on a city of less than 400,000 for a techno festival (though, technically I think that it is supposed to be a political protest). Hoards of oddly dressed, inebriated, techno fans filled the streets while music blared all around. Broken glass and litter everywhere. Quite a spectacle.
Even more amazing than seeing an event like this unfold is seeing the pace at which the Swiss can clean it all up. By Sunday morning, there was no sign that the event had taken place. 


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