Chiditarod is sort of like if you had Halloween in March for grown ups who love fast-moving parades and races and all the joy it takes you to not feel cold with the swirls of snow at your feet. It has become an art form of who can create the most elaborate or inventive float just as much as who can finish first with checkpoints all over local businesses in the Chicago neighborhood of Ukrainian Village. Sometimes, it feels like Chicago has lost so many great musicians, artists, writers to cities like NYC but whenever Chiditarod comes around, it reminds us Chicagoans why it’s great to be home. As the Chiditarod website points out, the date coincides with the Alaskan Iditarod dog sled race but I’ve always preferred shopping carts to sleds and costume lovers to dogs, anyway. And, as if you needed any more of a reason to support adults donning costumes and running through the wind and the cold, proceeds also greatly benefit The Greater Chicago Food Depository.
Favorite floats from this year’s race include “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea,” “The Beatles,” “DeadMau5,” “Ghostbusters,” “Mr. Potato Head,” “Super Mario Bros.,” “Lucky Charms,” “Unicorns,” “Draculas,” and “Happy Birthday!”
Full set of (large-sized) photographs from Chiditarod 2013 can be viewed on Flickr here.