Our “days off ” activities this week actually began on Wednesday night. We had been given tickets to an event at the Melody Tent in Hyannis and had never been to this unique venue, so we grabbed a sandwich, packed beer and wine, of course, and headed to tailgate and spend an evening with America and Three Dog Night!
The concert site is actually a circus tent with seats in the round and a stage in the center that slowly revolves during the presentation. There’s not a bad seat in the house and Wednesday night, every seat was filled. America played first and as they did, the memories came floating back! There are two original members and they have included an awesome guitarist and drummer in addition to a bass guitarist who has been with them for the last fifteen years. That may seem like a long time but not when you realize that America began playing together in 1972! The band played all their top hits as I reminisced about high school days – Sister Golden Hair, Horse With No Name, Ventura Highway, I Need You, and Tin Man – just to name a few! What added to the concert was the media presentation that accompanied the music, including photos of the original band along with shots of the times – great show! The man sitting in front of me was a true fan as he knew every word to absolutely every song and danced through them all – even when he wasn’t standing up!
Next up was Three Dog Night, who have been playing for the past 50 years – I’m feeling older by the moment! To be honest, at first I thought I was witnessing older men struggling to sing, but as the concert continued and the crowd got into it, I must say I enjoyed this group too. I was also surprised how many younger people were in attendance and seemed to be familiar with their greatest hits. Remember Eli’s Coming, Mama Told Me Not to Come, and One? How about Celebrate, Liar, or An Old Fashioned Love Song? By the end of the concert, they were dancing in the aisles – both young and old – and even a few canes and walking sticks were being waved in the air!
We rallied early Thursday morning, grabbed coffee, and headed to Provincetown to spend the day and view the Carnival Parade – the culminating activity of a weeklong celebration – this year’s theme being “Gods and Goddesses!” It was suggested by many people to go early as traffic and parking would be difficult, so following those recommendations we arrived in P-town at 9:30 a.m. for the 3 p.m. parade! The largest parking lot at MacMillan Pier was already filled, but we found a spot at Pilgrim Monument, only a short walk down the hill to Commercial Street. Our adventure began with breakfast sandwiches at the Portuguese Bakery, which is an adventure in itself. The sandwich was delicious, the pastries to die for, and the little old Portuguese man who runs the show a marvel!
As I mentioned, the parade did not start until 3 p.m. but I quickly realized we’d have no trouble filling our time till then. We walked down to the pier and immediately saw our first “god” sighting – welcoming visitors disembarking from their ferry ride from Boston. No words exchanged; he just watched!
After our pier stroll we walked up and down Commercial Street, stopping into some stores, but enjoying the sights and preparations being made for the celebration. So…what exactly is Carnival? Our host at Bubalas by the Bay – isn’t he a handsome “god?” – shared that years ago, by mid-August the people in Provincetown were tired of visitors and had had enough of summer, so they decided to dedicate a week to celebrate the upcoming end of the season. I wasn’t able to confirm this story but I do know that each year there is a different theme, and the gay and lesbian population, in addition to anyone else who wants to – goes all out to dress up and celebrate! To be honest, the sights we witnessed for the three hours before the parade were more priceless than the parade itself! Provincetown is known for its artistic flavor and with a year-round population of 3,000, it became a popular summer vacation spot for the gay and lesbian population in the early 1970’s. Yesterday, there were close to 100,00 in attendance at the Carnival Parade! P-town is an extremely open and accepting community and this was so evident at the parade and associated festivities! Sometimes words aren’t necessary, but we saw everything from street musicians, Poseidon, Bacchus the wine god, the Green Goddesses, Big Bang, Drag Queens, Pole Dancers, Apollus Trumps, and assorted angels and other “gifts from the gods!” I’ve never seen so much gold lame’ in my life and they were selling “toga material” for $3/yard! It was a tremendous day all around!
To finish out the week, tonight we are going to yet another “old head” concert as my daughter calls it – The Kingston Trio!