St. Stupid's Day Parade mocks economic and religious institutions

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The 33rd Annual St. Stupid's Day Parade careened through the Financial District this afternoon, with hundreds of colorful self-styled idiots offering spirited and incisive send-ups of corporate and religious power and clearly having a great time in the process.

The always lively April 1 countercultural ritual was infused by fabulous weather and a nearby gathering of Burning Man regional representatives from around the world, a conference at the Bently Reserve where head honcho Larry Harvey will be giving a heavily touted speech this evening in which he's expected to announce the formation of a nonprofit group that will eventually take over Burning Man from Black Rock City LLC.

But it's tough to upstage the First Church of the Last Laugh on its holiest of days, and the crew led the parade of costumed followers through some of its regular rituals, including the tightening of the lug nuts that connect old San Francisco to the new landfill at Battery and Bush streets and throwing socks at the old Pacific Stock Exchange Building.

Along the way, they stopped to make noise and jokes directed at the Federal Reserve, Well Fargo, Bank of America, and other titans of capitalism and corruption, offering chants that included “Go back to work” and “No more chanting.” Lobbies were raided and icons mocked, but with such a good nature and self-deprecating style that even the initially nervous-looking suits and security guards ended up smiling.

Happy St. Stupid's Day, everyone, now go have some fun.