“Save Our Bees” and “Pollinators Rock” read signs we carried while parading with the Backyard Growers, Cape Ann Farmers’ Market and Ukeladies group in the Fishtown Horribles Parade—the annual Independence Day Eve celebration in Gloucester, Massachusetts—on July 3, 2015. And our coalition won first place in the “civic” group/biker gang category. (Photos by Greg Cook)
Michele Del Vecchio suggested our theme: Protecting bees, butterflies and other pollinators that are crucial to our food supply, but whose populations have been crashing, scientific research says, due to pesticides. Amanda Cook turned her pickup truck into a bee-mobile, which was driven by Nicole Bogin of the Cape Ann Farmers’ Market. In the back of the truck, the Ukeladies (Michele, Amanda, Kim Buckley, Colleen Apostolos-Marsh and Dawn Sarrouf) played sweet flower and bug themed tunes. Meanwhile kids handed out real carrots from the Farmer’s Market to the crowd.
Children from the Lepioka-Brosnihan (featured in The Gloucester Daily Times), Cunningham, Cook, Duckworth, Percival Cook, Sarrouf, Del Vecchio, Bogin-Olson, Buckley, Featherstone and some other families rode bikes and scooters while dressed in bee, butterfly, bat and other pollinator costumes that they made themselves. Some of their parents participated, too. Kari Percival designed and made the big signs and bee hats—and worked with local families to make more hats during two workshops at the Cape Ann Farmers’ Market. We were also joined by Susan Steiner, Susan Erony, Jessica Finch and Victoria Merriman (in her amazing bee costume).
Lara Lepionka of the Backyard Growers rode in the group’s van, which was decorated with plastic fruit, a giant carrot sculpture, paintings, and, on the back, a banner painted by Greg Cook.
Also many thanks to Susan Donelan Burke, Cricket Press in Manchester, Mass., and Jess Semeraro, who donated materials to the cause.