Happy April Fool’s Day! It is time for the St. Stupid’s Day parade.
Street theater is a tradition that goes back to “commedia dell’arte” in the 16th century. Our home-grown version of that is the San Francisco Mime Troupe that started in 1962 in Washington Square Park in North Beach, San Francisco. Here is Peter Coyote to give you a brief history:
Fast forward from the founding of the San Francisco Mime Troupe to 37 years ago when Ed Holmes come along as a writer, director and actor, and Bishop Joey. He joins the troupe and he creates The First Church of the Last Laugh, founding the annual St. Stupid’s Day Parade on April Fool’s Day.
The parade assembles at noon at Justin Herman Plaza on the Embarcadero and begins a march through the financial district. Along the way, the parade makes ritual stops at the Pacific Stock Exchange for a “sock exchange.” This is how you use all of those single socks that do not have a partner. And then the group proceeds to the Banker’s Heart sculpture where you toss all of those pennies you have found in the cushions of your couch. Finally at the Federal Reserve you can discard all of your non-winning lotto tickets.
According to church doctrine, St. Stupid is the patron saint of civilization and parking meters. This is the only meeting required for membership in the church and attendance will be taken. Here is a snippit of what to expect:
And the San Francisco Mime Troupe is still performing. Here is more info on them: http://www.sfmt.org/index.php