Today was the annual Venice boat parade, through the canals! I went with a couple friends to watch the craziness just behind my apartment. I love the boat parade, because it’s such a grassroots event: locals dress up their dinghies, kayaks, rafts, motorboats, whatever floats, and bring it through the canals. Some of the floats are more extreme than others, incorporating lights and music, and others are just families in a dressed-up dinghy, singing Christmas carols at the top of their lungs. It’s so much fun to watch!
I also love it because the canals are a true community. The Christmas decorations are up in full force, and in varying degrees of extremes. Even the public bridges are lit up at night. And today, there were parties going on in houses, spilling onto the walkways. There were families everywhere, watching the boats together. Everyone was saying hello to their neighbors, and waving at their friends on the water. It’s one of those really heartwarming experiences I love seeing, every year.
By the way, if anyone wants to experience living by the canals, my room in my shared apartment is up for rent. Master bedroom and bath, with a view of the canals out the back window. Right now, I can see the lit-up bridges and lanterns strung along the lengths of Carroll Canal, which is extremely cool. But I still need someone to take over my place here, so please leave a comment if you’re interested and I’ll send the details. And then you, too, can revel in the seasonal joy that is what I think is one of the most unique homegrown celebrations possible.