Organizers of the event, which marks the beginning of The Park’s growing season, sniff at the suggestion.
“I see no evidence of that [politicization] at all,” said Miriam Wapiti, the celebration’s chief organizer, at a post-event party. “With the numbers we get, there will always be those who see this as an opportunity to further their cause, but they’ll always be a small minority,” she said.
Not so, says Gareth Shepherd, President of the Federation of Canine Security Workers (FCSW) and a Guard Dog who was on duty during the Jubilee.
“We had to call in reinforcements, so many scuffles broke out…even among members of the [same] organization. It was three times more difficult to keep the peace and provide security this year than last year,” he said.
Sylvana Rana, of the anti-election group, Save Our Political System (SOPS), concurs with Shepherd’s view, though she sees it in a more favourable light:
“We signed up more Animals at the Jubilee than we have in the last five months,” she said.
Keeva Moffatt, President of the Spotted Skunk Sedan Patrol, said she counted representatives of so many organizations that “I lost count after a couple of hours.”
“I know there were at least twenty,” he said.
Even so, according to Aintza Kanariar, Director of Public Relations for The Park’s Department of Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations, the Jubilee went off “without a hitch.”
“There were no deaths, injuries, or serious incidents. I’ve seen much worse, even on Groundhog Day,” she said.