Motley Fools Behind ‘St. Silly’s Day’ Plan To March on Silicon Valley Financial institution’s Ashes in Guerrilla Parade

The failure of Silicon Valley Financial institution has impressed its justifiable share of each hand-wringing and spirited ridicule because the domestically based mostly monetary establishment went stomach up earlier this month. However East Bay resident Ed Holmes and his associates have been skewering the monetary sector for nearly 50 years.

Holmes based the annual St. Silly’s Day parade in 1979 to rejoice the archetypal idiot and lampoon those that worship materials achieve. This Saturday, a gaggle of tricksters plans to return to the streets of the Monetary District in a procession to parody large enterprise. 

Holmes, a self-described member of “the clown-fool biz” who carried out within the SF Mime Troupe for years, instructed The Commonplace that this 12 months’s parade will start at excessive midday on the Transamerica Pyramid—in St. Silly’s parlance, “the sharp constructing.” From there, the crew will proceed up Columbus Avenue to Washington Sq. Park.

On the middle of the parade is a fictitious sacred determine known as St. Silly—the patron saint of parking meters, based on Holmes. Over the previous half-century, the parade has amassed fairly a number of uncommon rituals. Holmes mentioned revelers sometimes cease on the San Francisco Inventory and Bond Change constructing (now an Equinox fitness center) for a sock change. Additionally they trek over to the Federal Reserve Financial institution of San Francisco to throw shedding lottery tickets. 

“We thank the Federal Reserve for turning our financial system right into a lottery financial system,” Holmes mentioned. “It’s a lovely sight.” 

The tricksters have additionally marched to 580 California Avenue to hurl pennies on the trio of spookily draped marble sculptures that preside over the Monetary District. In line with Holmes, legendary San Francisco Chronicle columnist Herb Caen as soon as known as the statues the “Station of Silly.”

“We convey pennies to thank the banks and say, ‘Right here’s a penny you didn’t get this 12 months,’” Holmes mentioned.

On St. Silly’s Day, Holmes takes on an alter-ego by the identify of Bishop Joey—a bastardized moniker borrowed from Joey Bishop, who’s arguably the least-famous member of the Rat Pack. Holmes flips the primary and final names to provide himself a holy glow-up. 

Stacy Samuels instructed The Commonplace he’s been marching with a trombone on St. Silly’s Day for years. He mentioned that mottos like “No extra chanting!” are amongst his favourite issues to yell as he rolls by way of FiDi. 

“It’s the one holy day of the 12 months,” Samuels mentioned. “It’s the largest faith on the earth as a result of everybody does one thing silly at one level or one other.”  

Samuels mentioned he’s also called the banjo man at San Francisco Giants and Oakland A’s video games, the place he’s been enjoying unofficial exhibits for greater than 20 years. 

“I’ll be there on Saturday with my cape and propeller hat on,” he mentioned.

As Holmes instructed The Commonplace, he based the parade in 1979 after finding out the archetype of the idiot in medieval folklore.

“I used to be barely overeducated and got here throughout this wealthy historical past,” Holmes mentioned. “It seems nearly each tradition has a trickster character.” 

Again in 1979, April 1 appeared to be the right day on which to hatch his hoax, Holmes mentioned. Relationship again to historical Rome, April Idiot’s Day is a vacation shrouded in delusion when folks traditionally have performed tips on one another. Holmes mentioned he was significantly impressed by a 1934 dramatic portrayal of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Victor Hugo’s French Gothic novel, the place the village fools gathered within the cathedral and sang Gregorian chants in a “hee haw language.” After being unceremoniously forged out into the streets by the clergy, Holmes mentioned the gang devolved right into a bacchanal.

The St. Silly’s Day parade could not descend to that degree of debauchery, however Holmes mentioned “bare-butt mechanics” have been recognized to trip a printing press float throughout the sunken plaza on Market Avenue through the parade. 

At its core, Holmes mentioned St. Silly’s Day is a satirical non secular act born out of his personal disillusionment.

“I believed to myself, ‘The place are the temples of society right now?’” he mentioned. “They’re the monetary buildings. That’s the place folks worship.”

Holmes clarified that St. Silly’s Day is supposed to mock the buildings of the Monetary District, not the folks, and that in previous years workplace employees have come out to hitch the parade, donning clown noses and different costumes.

When requested how he feels concerning the parade within the wake of SVB’s collapse, Holmes supplied this historic perspective:

“Yearly, there’s this sense of: ‘What the fuck goes with the financial system?’ We all the time discover a strategy to satirize the faith of enterprise.” 

St. Silly’s Day Parade

? Saturday, April 1 | 12 p.m. 
? 600 Montgomery St.

Sarah Holtz will be reached at [email protected]