It was a carnival-like celebration on the Pearl Street Mall Sunday afternoon as a horde of locals marched to the downtown courthouse walking on stilts, donning clown costumes, wearing tutus, riding skateboards, bikes and roller blades in the fourth annual Mothers Acting Up Mother’s Day Parade.
The group’s message: to mobilize the political strength of mothers to ensure the health, education and safety of the world’s children. Over 100 supporters—moms, dads and kids—gathered at the Boulder Public Library before setting out in a lively procession across Canyon and onto an already bustling Pearl Street, hoisting colorful banners and chanting, “Ain’t no power like the power of the mamma, and the power of the mamma don’t stop.”?
Live Congo music played as the crowd swarmed to the courthouse area, where a dozen political groups had set up booths and Wild Oats dished out free cake. Despite the import of the group’s message, organizers managed to keep the mood festive and light. “Mothers don’t want to rally around anger,”? Beth Osnes, event organizer and Mothers Acting Up co-founder, told New West at Sunday’s event. Osnes and three other local mothers formed the group four years ago, inspired by anti-war activist Julia Ward Howe who started Mother’s Day in 1870. A Boston-born women’s rights advocate, Howe wrote the Mother’s Day Proclamation urging all women and mothers to resist war, which was the original message of Mother’s Day.
“Mothers are a natural lobby for the world’s children,”? said Onses, who donned a costume of Howe. “We are inviting mothers into the political process.”? They are responding. The Mothers Acting Up annual parade has spread across the globe, with its festive Mother’s Day celebrations now held in 38 states and two countries, the group’s officials told the Daily Camera, which also covered Sunday’s event.
And it’s no wonder—the group’s positive, uplifting message of peace is a welcome respite from a movement often saddled by depressing world politics and weighty rhetoric. Leave it to Boulderites to prove that politics and pleasure can and do mix.