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Vulcanus Rex overthrows King Boreas by Ann Treacy
February 7, 2011, 2:44 pm
Filed under: St Paul

Over the weekend we saw an historic battle between King Boreas, cool ruler of the winter and Vulcanus Rex, bawdy bringer of spring. This is a battle that has been going on for 125 years.

It started with a parade of floats and cars, clowns and marching bands, even a boat driving down the street. We saw a girl being bounced up into the air. We saw hot air balloons that had lost their balloons but still fired up the sky. (Which by the way is a welcome blast of heat for all around.)

The kids watched the parade because many of the parading folks were handing out goodies. Aine got a great haul, which is what persuaded her older sisters to join her. The parade folks are smart to recognize that if you’re going to host a parade in potentially sub-zero temperatures, a few incentives are key.

Lily got caught by a Vulcan. The Vulcans are a kinder, gentler lot now then even just a few years ago. They bypassed the shier girls and went straight for the only sister who wanted a big V pained on her cheek.

The parade wound its way around to Rice Park. We wound with it and managed to score easy viewing from a bench with a mid-park angle. The battle takes place on the steps of the library. First you can see the majestic white presence of Boreas. Then you see the Vulcans and their torches getting closer.

The battle has a sort of sports announcers calling out the strategies and plays for both sides. The best part was the woman who decided she was going to bring Aine up to speed with what was happening. She gave us a great history, despite Lily and Kate’s helpful questions such as – why would they kill someone just to bring on spring?

In the end, even from a distance you can see the rush of red overtake the library steps as Boreas is overthrown, which is supposed to mean spring is on its way. And it looked hopeful. We’ve been above freezing since Saturday night – but rumor is we’re looking at -11 for tomorrow. Maybe there was a secret coup last night.

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