King Mango Strut brings irreverent humor to downtown Coconut Grove

 

Hundreds came out to downtown Coconut Grove on Sunday for the annual comedic send-up of big local stories and events.

mbernal@miamiherald.com

Carrying a casket, wearing all black and dark sunglasses, fans of the Twinkie carried R.I.P. signs to give the famed, but doomed treat its due at the 31st annual King Mango Strut parade.

And the Twinkie wasn’t the only one “honored” at the send-up. Other participants included Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez in his death bed, Fidel Castro in a wheelchair and former Gen. David “Betray-us.” There were also dancing pot heads and a “very” young Miami Marlins team.

The holiday parade tradition took over the streets of downtown Coconut Grove on Sunday, mocking and punning the biggest local and national news events of the year.

This year’s Grand Marshal: the empty chair. Luckily, actor Clint Eastwood also came to walk at the parade.

It started with politics as the crowd booed as look-alikes of Florida Gov. Rick Scott and presidential candidate Mitt Romney handed out money to spectators for votes.

Then the one percent of the population, or the rich, offered jobs to the crowd and modeled their expensive clothing and sophisticated dogs.

To highlight the threat of global warming on our shoreline, a group of about 50 people wore their bathing suits, carried surfboards, scuba gear and mermaid outfits along the streets of places like Hialeah Harbor, Kendall Key, Opa-locka Ocean Club, Pembroke Pines Pier and Wynwood Waterway.

“Everyone will soon have waterfront properties in Miami,” said the announcer. “Miami, the new Venice!”

But it was not Gangnam, but Ganja-Style group that got the crowd dancing. They incorporated the popular song to a movement that would legalize marijuana in Florida. The idea came after this year’s voting legalized marijuana in various states.

The group of about 50 family members and friends wore flower pots in their heads and represented some of the most popular Miami Heat players: Dwane Weed and Le Bong James.

“It’s a joint effort. Every year we do this as a family and larger family tradition,” said group organizer Maya Ibars, who has been part of the parade since 2001.

They had a huge cigar on top of a car that ran on fumes and as they danced, bags of weed (oregano) were thrown to the crowd.

The porta-potty used as last year’s occu-potty was transformed into Miami-Dade’s cleanest voting machine, equipped with election-ready voting machines from the year 2000.

“Bringing you the world’s crappiest elections,” said the sign taped to the porta-potty door. Votes were being cast on toilet paper.

The Miami version of the Florida woman who earlier this year rode a manatee, sparking a manhunt, was also present. She rode her bike, decorated with a life-size manatee.

And the Miami Marlins were also roasted. A dozen nine-year-olds dressed as the 2013 team, assured that they would be just as good as the new rookie team. They threw balls at the crowd and held up “I pitch for pennies” and “Will hit for hot dog” signs.

Parade spectator Amanda Force found her own way to join in the fun. Like an Olympic judge, she and friends rated the parade performers. As the parade went by they held up “10” signs for their favorites.

“Over the years we’ve seen good sense of humor, dry sense of humor and some stuff that doesn’t make sense,” Force said.

Some jokes fall flat on the crowd. “But that’s the fun of this,” Force said.

Read more Top Stories stories from the Miami Herald

  • Terrorism

    Video shows beheading of South Florida journalist

    The Islamic fundamentalist group holding Pinecrest journalist Steve Sotloff has apparently murdered him. A video purporting to show Sotloff’s decapitation — following a statement in which Sotloff said he was “paying the price” for U.S. policy in Iraq — was posted on an Internet file-sharing site Tuesday.

  • Ultra

    Ultra Music Festival bans minors

    Festival organizers said the decision to limnit the fest to those 18 and over was ‘made to reinforce and promote the safety of all Ultra Music Festival fans.’

  •  
Norwegian Cruise Line CEO Kevin Sheehan, shown in this file photo at his Miami office, announced Tuesday that his company will acquire Prestige Cruises International.

    Norwegian Cruise to acquire parent of Oceania, Regent lines

    The world’s third-largest cruise ship company is about to get bigger.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category