2017 saw the 4th year that the Camel Parade has been an event in South Shields, Sophie and I went for the first time last year a few photo’s of which I posted HERE, so this year we made a return trip knowing what to expect. It involves 3 camels with their handlers and riders dressed up as wise men, parading the length of Ocean Road, which is quite a long old road, followed by stilt walkers and a drum group called Sparks! It’s been controversial as the animal rights group PETA, who I have a lot of time for usually, have decreed it bad, and say that camels shouldn’t be used for public entertainment. I kind of agree with the sentiment, but really, all they do is walk the camels down the road, and then put them back in their vehicle and bugger off. They don’t get prodded or poked or stand around being gawped at. PETA Campaigns Strategist Luke Steele said: “Using live animals in these sorts of events sends a damaging message to young people that animals are little more than living props”, according to our local newspaper, with one of the comments underneath being “it’s disgraceful that anyone should find this acceptable. It’s not about the climate, it’s about the crowds, noise and the basic lack of respect enough to use animals for our entertainment. Animals are sentient beings, they are here for their own purpose, not for human monsters to use and abuse as they wish. It’s archaic and needs to be stopped!” I have to say the human monsters, particularly the baby monsters loved the whole shebang, and this monster doesn’t get to photograph many camels in our neck of the woods so was happy to see them. I expect eventually the council will give in and the camels will come no more.
A lot of monsters turned up for the parade, and luckily it didn’t rain.
The trees along Ocean Road were all lit up
and the kiddies all waiting for the show to begin
the camels came first
they were followed by stilt walkers I think representing the 3 shepherds
and this guy who was I think, the star of Bethlehem
then “The Creative Seed” wagon came, but I’m not sure what that was all about!
and these were followed by my favourite part, the Sparks! drum group
at the bottom of the road a stage was set up which Sparks! ascended and then played a cracking set of drum tunes. Well not tunes really but whatever it is that drums do without other instruments being about.
they somehow illuminate themselves and the drums and the whole thing is quite exciting to watch
stay tooned for the 2nd part when we see the firework display!
(pictures clickable for embiggening)