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Blackout Party Goes for a Ride

Lemon Bucket Orkestra convenes a blackout anniversary party on—and under—downtown streets.


In 2003, Toronto—along with much of Ontario and the northeastern United States—experienced a blackout that brought most regularly scheduled activities to a halt. Shops started handing out free ice cream before it melted, neighbours checked on each other by candlelight, and downtown residents saw stars that were usually blotted out by the light. Every August since, the city’s seen one kind of blackout anniversary party or another, marking what turned out, for most people, to be an impromptu night of fun.

In that tradition on Tuesday night, some Torontonians gathered at Bloor and Spadina, summoned by the Lemon Bucket Orkestra for a street party. After a ride on the subway down to Union Station, the crowd stopped for another song (and a crowdsurfing kayaker), before walking down Front Street and meeting up with a Critical Mass bike ride en route to the Flatiron Building, where there were more songs, fire jugglers, and assorted forms of revelry.

Video of the adventure after the jump…