One of the original organizers of the King Mango Strut, a satirical, eccentric annual parade in Coconut Grove, is planning to bring the festivities to Wynwood for the first time on Dec. 10.
“Wynwood’s King Mango Strut,” as organizer Glenn Terry has dubbed it, will be similar to the Grove parade but tailored to the neighborhood’s vibe, Terry said.
“It’s a mix of performance art and political satire, a lot like our Grove parade but with a greater emphasis on ‘art,’” he said in an email.
The first King Mango Strut was in 1982, after Terry and a friend were denied entry into the Orange Bowl Parade because they were wearing conch shells on their heads, playing kazoos, and banging on garbage cans, according to the KMS website. The upcoming Wynwood parade will not be replacing the original: The 30th Coconut Grove King Mango Strut will be held on Saturday, Dec. 31, at 2 p.m.
During the King Mango Strut, people traditionally dress up in costumes that mock current events and pop culture. In last year’s parade, a woman sported a long-sleeved black latex shirt and a stuffed pelican on her head — an allusion to the BP oil spill. One time, a father and a son came to the Strut dressed up as North Korean potentates with a 10-foot rocket in the back of their pick up truck.
David Josef Tamargo, assistant director of the World Erotic Art Museum, in Miami Beach, is organizing the Wynwood event with Terry. He said the parade will start inside a vacant lot on 22nd Street and N.W. Second Avenue, where food trucks hold round-ups during the monthly Second Saturday Art Walk. From there, paraders will walk north, using the side walk, until they get to the Wynwood Walls, where they will continue the festival.
David Lombardi, a prominent Wynwood property owner and former Wynwood Arts District Association board member, said both he and fellow Wynwood developer Tony Goldman support the parade, adding they’ve contributed “a few hundred dollars” to help fund it.
Last year, Terry had a falling out with the other organizers of the original King Mango Strut in Coconut Grove and lost control of that version of the parade in a long, drawn-out tug-of-war. In January, Terry’s group held a “flash” King Mango Strut at the South Miami vintage car show on Sunset Drive. Not amused, the city fined him $350 for holding a parade without a permit.
There’s no need for a city permit for the Wynwood parade, Tamargo said, because it will progress from Lombardi’s lot to the Wynwood Walls using the sidewalks along N.W. Second Avenue, thereby avoiding the street all together.
After working to organize the Wynwood parade for the last six months, Terry said he’s happy with the reception so far.
“As I was driving home last night, I … met two graffiti artists painting on North Miami Avenue,” he said. “Now they will be painting in the parade!”
In an effort to recruit volunteers, parade organizers will hold an open meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 29, at Lester’s, a cafe on N.W. Second Avenue, right across the street from the Wynwood Walls. While the exact turnout for the parade remains to be seen, Tamargo said about 100 people have already signed up.
This post was produced in partnership with Open Media Miami.