Here’s Looking at You, World’s Largest Rainbow Parade

World's Largest Rainbow Parade

What is it like to be among 179 people dressed head-to-toe in one color, arranged chromatically, following a marching band over the Brooklyn Bridge? My words fail me, so I’ll let these photos do the talking.

First off, I have to give a huge thank you to the person I hired to take on the role of Official Rainbow Parade Photographer, Mindy Best. She showed up in full-on color, stretching, squatting, running back and forth, and even climbing on the bridge over the course of the parade, and she was nothing but kind and professional throughout the entire process. Her name is no coincidence; she is the BEST. I would highly recommend hiring her.

Secondly, I want to continue to thank both RecordSetter and the Kickstarter backers for making this possible. Because of the generosity of the Kickstarter community, I’ll be able to make a contribution of $500 to Publicolor.1

Now – I hope you enjoy these pics! For a full color overload, look at even more parade photos on Flickr.

Rainbow Brigade Getting all the gear to a rainbow parade requires a loyal band of some of the most generous friends this rainbow-loving lady could ask for, a Rainbow Brigade if you will.

Mother Nature at the Rainbow Parade Mother Nature decides to cooperate.

Rainbow Parade style People arrive in their finest rainbow garb. All the incredible styles blew me away! (Note the yellow hard had complete with bottles of Sunny D: PRO MOVE, miss lady friend, pro move.)

Get him! One guy showed up in ALL GREY!

Erin Sparling in orange. So we grabbed him and turned him orange. (Thank you for being a good sport, Erin!)

Ballroom Basix at the Rainbow Parade Alex of Ballroom Basix got us warmed up with some latin steps.

Nasty Freestyle at the Rainbow Parade And then Nasty Freestyle (aka John Doyle, aka The Creep) choreographed a group routine with moves for each individual color!

Team Yellow dances Team Yellow does the “Walk Like an Egyptian” dance.

Team Orange dances Team Orange waves it out. (It’s almost as if they know they’d make a great animated gif!)

Team Blue dances. Team Blue “Milks the Udders of Heaven.”

Jessi dances at the Rainbow Parade And now I’m THOROUGHLY convinced that the simple joy of dancing brings the parade to a whole new level!

Maude at the Rainbow Parade Maude surveys approvingly.

RecordSetter keeps count at the Rainbow Parade RecordSetter keeps count as people arrive.

Jessi's Mom at the Rainbow Parade I pass the official Rainbow Birthday baton to my mom Martha, who’s up visiting from Mississippi, because yesterday (April 27) is actually HER birthday!

Trumpet at the Rainbow Parade The trumpet sounds…

Hungry March Band at the Rainbow Parade …and Hungry March Band groves us out of the park and onto the bridge!

Team Red is large Team Red is large…

Team Red is in charge …and in charge!

Team Orange is compact Team Orange may be compact…

Team Orange personality …but they pack big personality!

Team Yellow style Team Yellow brings the fly styles…

Team Yellow smiles …and the giant smiles.

Green Team pausing Team Green knows when to pause…

Team Green with cupcakes …and enjoy the sweeter things. (Cupcakes by One Girl Cookies thanks to Debbie Millman!)

Team Blue has spirit Team Blue has great spirit…

Team Blue commits …and demonstrates true commitment to their color.

Teams Purple and Pink Teams Purple and Pink…

Team Purple shows love …aren’t afraid to show the love…

Team Pink is too damn cute …and they up the cuteness factor by about a million.

Rainbow Parade: One of Every Color We end the parade with a dance party in City Hall Park…

Rainbow Parade RecordSetter certificate …a certificate officializing the world record…

Kelli Anderson's Rainbow Peanut Butter Fudge …and some of Kelli Anderson’s peanut butter fudge, rainbow style.

Rainbow Parade Kickstarter Backers Thank you to all of the Kickstarter backers (whose names are here in gold glitter paint) who made this possible…

Team Yellow goes all out …and to all the people who came out in full-on color…

Rainbow Parade Passers By …you brought unexpected joy to many passers by.

Friends at the Rainbow Parade I am overwhelmed thinking of all the friends who go out of their way to fully participate…

Rainbow Parade Purple Butterfly …and by those I’ve never even met before who make the parade their own.

Jessi Arrington at the Rainbow Parade You all reconfirm my belief in love and happiness as the ultimate goal. Truly. Amen.


  1. Publicolor is an organization that provides resources for and training in commercial painting, guiding teens to positively impact their surroundings through color. 

Comments

  1. Prescott Perez-Fox

    Amazing! Such a fun day.

  2. Bekka

    Words cannot express how much I love you for not being afraid to be yourself. That was, by far, the best way to spend a day. Thank you!

  3. swissmiss

    I can not look at the Brooklyn Bridge without thinking of the parade. It was Ella’s first time walking over it. She will have an amazing story for life. The first time walking over the bridge, dressed from head to toe in red, with a marching band. Doesn’t get better than that.

    The world needs more Jessi’s. For real.

  4. Catharine

    Love. I wish I was there. :)

  5. Martha Taylor

    Love it!! Such a wonderful and unexpected honor to be the honorary Grand Marshall. The best honor was getting to spend time with my beautiful Jessi. It was the perfect day.

  6. Judy B

    Will this be an annual event? I so want to do it!!!!

  7. a.

    this is awesome and amazing and some other a- word i’m not thinking of right now. i am also a lifelong rainbow-lover, living on the west coast. i’d love to organize a rainbow parade to coincide with yours! (i’m assuming you’re doing it again next year?)

  8. J. P. Cabit

    Wow, so much fun! Truly the world needs more color!

  9. Merkohl

    Beautiful!  I saw your TED talk about wearing nothing new and wanted to check out your website; you just keep comin’ with the awesomeness!  Brightened my evening, thanks for that.  :D

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