Imagine Mardi Gras mated with the Burning Man festival and you’ll have some idea of Spectacle Fortuna, a parade of puppets, floats, prayer flags, music, stilt walkers, and papier-mache birds taking over Michigan Avenue Friday evening. The event is part of Manifest 05–Columbia College’s one-day campus-wide display of film, music, dance, theater, performance, and visual art–and anyone is welcome to march, wearing or carrying one of the masks, lanterns, banners, or funny hats created by Redmoon Theater vet/Columbia College teacher Jennifer Friedrich and her students. Spectacle Fortuna should be well worth watching, both for its riot of color amid the relentless beige of South Loop construction and for its sheer audacious weirdness, rivaled only by the Harold Washington Library Center gargoyles. A mammoth effigy of the Hindu goddess Laksmi will bring up the rear of the parade, whose destination is a free Grant Park concert at 8 PM headlined by the Afro-Latin group Ozomatli. En route, paraders will be throwing chocolate coins at the crowd. What’s not to like? See Manifest 05 listings for other events. Spectacle Fortuna begins Friday at 7 PM at Harrison and Wabash, wends its way east to Michigan and south to 11th Street, then heads to Grant Park. 312-344-6650. Free
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Con Buckley.