Urban Pond Procession
(5.13) [Weather Update: Due to the rain the procession will start at Alvarez High School, 375 Adelaide Avenue at 5:30pm! A mini procession is still planned with singing and dancing and food.]
Hope the weather cooperates for the 10th annual, and possibly final, Urban Pond Procession, which kicks off at 5:30pm at the Mashapaug Pond Boathouse (seen here with a random dragon boat).
The UPPArts website has the schedule of events (and a map, and photos from years past) which involves a kooky parade from the boathouse to the cove behind Alvarez High School. At the beginning, participants can find a costume, sign, banner, percussion instrument, or prop to take along the one mile walk with the Extraordinary Rendition Band, Big Nazo Puppets, and the What Cheer Brigade.
From 7:15pm to 8:45pm in the New Park behind the high school (bring lawn chairs, blankets):
Finale starts with music by Mike Capeles and Phil Edmonds, and includes presentations by Alvarez and Central High Schools, Bain+2, speakers, performances by Sokeo Ros/Case Closed, TAPA and Erik Carlson and Erik Gould performing ‘Silvered: Tracing Gorham at Mashapaug Pond.’
The ProJo has some background on this unusual blend of arts, music, and environmental advocacy came about.
In 2007, the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts along with the Rhode Island Health Department asked [Holly] Ewald, an artist, if she would create colorful and easy-to-understand signs around Mashapaug Pond. The signs would let visitors know about the pond’s health and safety hazards, according to the website.
Ewald and other community volunteers then also organized the Mashapaug Pond Procession, an event that eventually became the Urban Pond Procession.
After 10 years, “It’s time to turn it over to the local community,” Ewald said.
UPP, 5:30pm, Saturday, May 13, Mashapaug Boathouse, 361 Reservoir Avenue (directions — just drive through Ocean State Plaza and in between the gap in the buildings), rain date: Sunday, May 14
And how polluted is Mashapaug Pond after all these years? There’s no swimming, no drinking, no wading, no eating fish, and no boating whenever thick scum, algae mats, or foul odors occur on the pond.