Provincetown celebrated 40 years of Carnival celebrations this last Thursday on August 16th. The 2018 theme was “Mardi Gras by the Sea.” The clang and clatter of this colossal Brouhaha shook the shifting sands surrounding the tiny town sending shockwaves that could be felt all the way to the Bourne Bridge which was reported to have swung ever so slightly as a tsunami wave of unleashed frivolity passed through the ether!
I love a parade, especially when an even balance between High Drag and iron pumped muscle is on view with a piquancy of the tastefully salacious. The term, “dressed to kill” comes to mind and some of the revelers rollicking down the roadway certainly set the joint on fire which was appropriate to a sultry afternoon in August.
The pairing of Mardi Gras with Provincetown is natural for a village long revered for its outsider status even if the luxury condominium crowd threaten to homogenize the witches brew that simmers in the cauldron of history there. I am here to tell ya that the waving dance of summer heat mirage, reflecting off the sands of Ptown, can singe the straight and narrow, reshaping an innocent bystander into a Cha Cha Mama of whatever sex or persuasion.
Taffy, Frankie and Todd, all decked out in the traditional colors of Mari Gras, yellow for power, purple for justice and green for faith. These meticulous couturier gowns are designed and created by Rodney Vanderwarker AKA “Frankie” with assistance from his husband Todd Paul. Some of the details include specially designed and printed fabrics, complete color coordination of fabrics, feathers, jewels and even nail polish. It took all winter to make these divine creations, right down to the night before the parade. I wiggled my way into their lair and snapped far too many photos chronicling their metamorphosis from OK Guys into Belles of the Ball. You will see their magical transformations in my flicker slide show connected at the bottom of this post.
Two handsome Genies looking for their lamp to be rubbed the right way. So, make a wish and see what you get.
These ladies and their escort are all lined up and ensconced comfortably front row center on Commercial Street at the base of McMillian Wharf. I never get to chit chat much with the crowd so I can only speculate on the message intended by their costumes, but they look to me to be into Voodoo considering the skulls and magic mojos, etc. Whatever the intent, their vibe was festive and joyous and yes, a wee bit mischievous.
The couple on the left have a stunning allure, otherwise known as, Sizzling Hot. They towered above the crowd but had no attitude except love and delight. The fellows on the right have a menacing scowl but I’ll bet they’re real pussy cats at heart.
Now, it’s not every day you come across their Imperial Majesties Josie and Nappy but when present, they lend an undisputed élan to the proceedings
I love this bunch a boys with their sexy androgyny. Ah the blush of youth!
Click Rodney’s kisser to see the whole show