Celebrations of Spring come in many forms and one of the most public celebrations took place just after noon today; the annual Ebune Parade began in front of the Maine College of Art and progressed up Congress Street until it reached the
Eastern Promenade several hours later.
All along the parade route, spectators stood in anticipation of the event and another day of spring weather as well. “It’s a beautiful spring day to celebrate this diverse commnity,” said Erica King with her son, Josiah, four years old. Hill resident Naila Wissa said: “It’s entertaining for the kids. We’ve come the last two years and its become a tradition for us.” They were standing in front of the Hilltop Coffee Shop waiting for the parade to pass them.
Hill residents played a prominent part in the parade itself. Lauren Ostis, a fiber artist was near the beginning of the parade in front of MECA. Children reached out with small hands to feel the bright colored balls of soft fiber that hung from strings she held in her hands as the Ebune Parade progressed toward the Eastern Promenade. Marita Kennedy-Castro, a west African dance insructor, directed dancers in a West Afircan Inspired Dance that began the parade. Marita teaches at the Maine School of Dance, Portland, and lives on the Hill.
“Sudden Glory” was the theme of today’s Ebune Parade. It means that “when you have life, you have everything,” said organizer of the spring celebration, Oscar O. Mokeme. He’s the director and founder of The Museum of African Cuture on Brown Street. Born in western Nigeria, Oscar spends much of his time traveling the world lecturing and healing when he’s not at the Brown Street museum.
Please visit www.museumafricaculture.org.