By Russ Martin & Juliana Cummins
Ryerson’s 49th annual Parade & Picnic was full of eastatic cheerleaders and marching mascots.
“This year we had student groups come out in large numbers. Usually we only get course unions and we haven’t got the groups involved in the past so that’s unique this year,” says RSU president, Muhammad-Ali Jabbar who spent the whole summer with the rest of the union planning the event.
About 3,000 students flocked out of dorm rooms, lecture halls, and cafeterias to parade down Yonge St. last Friday.
Second-year engineering student Kevin Deononan joked about the type of fun to expect at this annual tradition.
“Every year, you get progressively stupid,” he said. “It’s always fun to see how much you can get away with.”
Students started marching at about 12:40 p.m., 40 minutes past its original plan for take-off. Everyone was so excited that no one seemed to notice.
Some parade highlights included Information Technology Management’s giant paper maché monkey, a favourite among the judges, and a colourful float put together by the West Indian Society.
A pack of drummers lead the student societies, sports teams and faculties to their island destination. The variety of groups spoke volumes of Ryerson’s diversity as they chanted and cheered down the world’s longest street.
Students braved the sweat and heat as they continued down Front St., attracting curses from drivers, smiles from pedestrians, and jeers from U of T students. The parade then turned down Bay St., leading students to the harbourfront, where they took a ferry to Island Park on Olympic Island. Once on the island, students were treated to a barbeque, overpriced beer, and performances by Nomadic Massive, Rhythm Dhol Bass and headliners, Boys Night Out.
Although the RSU had no control over the prices of beer, Jabbar was speechless about the day and could only utter the words, “It was just awesome.” Although it was a little late, Ryerson’s Parade and Picnic was a great place to see people outside of class. For next year, let’s plan for the addition of parade essentials: motorcycles, drag queens, and more beer!