The annual May Day parade rolled through downtown Winnipeg on Thursday, May 1.
The route took those who gathered on a march from City Hall down Main Street, up Broadway, then over to Smith, Portage Avenue, Fort, Albert and onto Old Market Square where everyone sang ‘The Internationale (Eugene Pottier and Pierre Degyeter).
Some members of The Flaming Trolleys Marching Band were along for the parade as usual, singing songs like Gershwin’s ‘Summertime’, ’16 Tons’, and Black Sabbath’s ‘War Pigs’ among others. What’s a parade without a marching band?
There was a general feeling of camaraderie among the participants; a real feeling of togetherness as they marched through the streets to create awareness for the working class.
After the march, participants walked over to the King’s Head Pub for the May Day Cabaret with live entertainment featuring Pat Krawec playing his banjo, guitar and Jew’s Harp singing his heart out in the tradition of Woodie Guthrie.
Debbie Patterson read some excerpts from her brilliant play, ‘Sargent and Victor and Me’. The play feaured Debbie interviewing people who live or have lived in the area of Sargent Avenue and Victor Street. She was very animated in her delivery and seemed to take on the persona of the interviewee.
Then, Lindsay Jane (accompanied by Marcel Desaults on slide guitar) played a few nice folk songs on her guitar including a Joe Hill tune. Ending off the evening was Rasta Mills with their reggae inspired groove getting people off their seats and dancing.
The Winnipeg Labour Council is the main organizer of the event celebrating International Working Class Day. This year’s theme is: “What we do for ourselves, we desire for others.”
The May Day Mayworks Festival continues for the whole month of May.
All photos and video by Doug Kretchmer