Now this isn't a true comparison. Not enough data was collected for that. This is mearly some notable notes on experiences here and there during a couple of parades. I am not a parade expert mind you, although I have doned a sash and riden a float or two, but this homology is from the spectators point of view.
Music, amazing horses, beautifully dressed and carefully coiffed ladies and children singing, dancing and marching top the list of similarities of both the traditional parades I have been to and the Cinco de Mayo parade we enjoyed yesterday. Rain (lots and lots of enormous watery drops of rain) or shine, the people and children enjoying the community celebration are the same. The most striking difference between the two types though is in parades I have been to in the past is the audience waves back, we clap, we take pictures, we talk to our neighbors about the loveliness of it all. In the Cinco de Mayo parade, parade-goers hoot and cat-call, run into the parade to cheer on the entries and make certain their neighbor gets a piece of the candy action. Our jaws dropped at the generosity of the small cart vendor who handed out full size ice-cream bars and the businesses who delighted salty-processed-meat-loving children like Aidan with gigantic beef sticks! Don't they look happy? Dripping with rain, shivering, but happy none the less.