World Choir Games – Parade and Opening Ceremony

I had the pleasure of spending my afternoon and evening downtown today – soaking in the start of the 2012 World Choir Games here in Cincinnati.  It was an amazing experience and I can’t wait to see what the next ten days will bring!

world choir games parade - austria

Cincinnati is the first city from the Western Hemisphere to host the World Choir Games.  The World Choir Games started today (July 4, 2012) and will run through July 14.

world choir games parade - China

Over the next ten days, you’ll be able to find all kinds of choral events and competitions.  Most of the events are downtown (The Aronoff, The Masonic Temple, Christ Church Cathedral, The School for the Creative and Performing Arts, and other venues).  They also have free “Friendship Concerts” all over town.

world choir games parade - Puerto Rico

The Games kicked off today with a parade and the World Choir Games Opening Ceremony.

world choir games parade - flags

The countries gathered at Great American Ballpark prior to the start of the parade.  Everyone was grouped by nation.  While they all waited and prepared, song and dance broke out all over…

world choir games at Great American Ballpark

I am going to figure out which group this is from Puerto Rico (below) because I definitely want to see them perform.  They had a good time from start to finish.  In the picture below they are doing the “Electric Slide” to their own music, played by a drummer in the group.

world choir games parade - Puerto Rico

The parade started at Great American Ballpark and meandered around to the Opening Ceremony which was held at nearby U.S. Bank Arena.

world choir games parade -  India
world choir games parade - venezuela

The U.S. Bank Arena was PACKED for the Opening Ceremony.  The choirs attended as did lots and lots of people from all over the world.

world choir games opening ceremonies - flags of nations

The Cincinnati Pops Orchestra entertained us with music with The May Festival Chorus joining in.  Grammy Award winner Kirk Franklin sang “I Can”,  the official song of the 2012 World Choir Games.

world choir games opening ceremonies - cincinnati pops

We enjoyed the ringing of the Peace Bell which was crafted at Cincinnati’s own Verdin Bell Company.

world choir games opening ceremonies - peace bell

The day and night was absolutely amazing. I am so glad this is just the beginning as I am now hungry for more.  I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings!

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