It takes a village to build a float! The volunteers we found outside Tibbetts United Methodist Church (WSB sponsor) tonight are no doubt just one of many groups/businesses/organizations putting finishing touches on their floats, cars, signs, etc., for Saturday’s West Seattle Grand Parade. So it’s time for one final preview of what you’ll see tomorrow among the nearly 100 entries. Here’s what we have already reported (with links to our stories):
*Grand Marshal: Nancy Woodland of WestSide Baby – she’ll be in a car, followed by the famous “Stuff the Bus” school bus promoting Sunday’s big diaper drive
*Orville Rummel Trophy: Shirley Vradenburgh, recently retired from Seattle Lutheran High School
*Seattle Police Pipes and Drums’ debut, marching between motorcycle groups, with visiting Boston Police counterparts
*Last ride/ceremony for SPD Motorcycle Drill Team leader Officer John Bernasconi, a West Seattle native (you’re welcome to watch – 10:30 am or so at California/Charlestown)
*First-ever Float Dodger 5K precedes the parade (still time to register beforehand – run/walk starts at California/Charlestown at 9:45 am)
And now, from information gleaned while we sat in on the parade-lineup meeting this week (with Jim Edwards, Dave Vague, Doreen Vague, and Michelle Edwards working to put it all together), some of what else you’ll see along the parade route (California/Lander to California/Edmunds):
*More marching bands than ever – half a dozen as of the parade-lineup meeting – including the Seahawks’ thunderous Blue Thunder. (Michelle Edwards is a member but won’t be playing with them because she’s part of the coordinating team for the parade – without which, there would be chaos!) And of course, the famous, West Seattleite Marcus Pimpleton-directed All-City Marching Band. (Marching bands obviously have to be separated, making for a fun juggling challenge at the lineup meeting.)
*Your major parade sponsors are the returning West Seattle YMCA (also a WSB sponsor), West Seattle Podcast (the folks in the ex-Petco space, aka Sound Ad Group), and International Parking Management. (WSB is proud to be among the next tier of donors – thanks to EVERYONE who chipped in to help make sure the parade would happen.)
*The Admiral District will make its debut in the parade – the newly formed business group
*As always, the Rotary Club of West Seattle-sponsored Kiddie Parade will be seen in The Junction, leaving California/Genesee at 11 am, marching, walking, rolling down the rest of the parade route to California/Edmunds – all kids welcome to participate (details here – you can sign up online OR just show up at the starting spot after 10 am)
*19 community groups (schools, churches, nonprofits, youth groups, lots and lots of your West Seattle neighbors)
*13 drill teams (including the always awesome Seattle Chinese Community Girls’ Drill Team)
*Performing acts including new participant Joyas Mestizas and Pathfinder K-8‘s unicyclists
*VIPs including Seafair royalty (cheer for Kelsey Bills, who is representing West Seattle Hi-Yu in this year’s Seafair Scholarship Program for Women competition)
*A red-and-yellow RapidRide bus
*Of course, the Seafair Pirates and the West Seattle Hi-Yu Festival float, among others who participate every year (Art and Gloria, the World War II veterans who were last year’s Grand Marshals, are scheduled to return!)
*Remember, it’s NOT the “Hi-Yu Parade.” Hi-Yu is IN the parade. The festival sponsored the parade in its early years (the first parade was in 1934). But it’s the West Seattle American Legion Post 160 Grand Parade now.
*Judges will be spread out along the route – no truth to the perception that acts show off at California/Alaska because that’s where they ALL are. Announcer Joe is at that intersection, though.
*One last reminder – if you ignore a sign like this any time between early Saturday morning and mid-afternoon …
… you are in danger of getting towed. Restrictions kick in at 7 am, per signs like that one along California, and that road will be closed earlier than usual because of the Float Dodger 5K. Side streets used for parade staging are mostly “just” parking restrictions but that means serious enforcement too – the area is needed for staging before AND afterward. And remember that the area around Hiawatha will be even busier because tomorrow is Day 1 of the Mediterranean Fantasy Festival, which begins right around the time the parade does!
(WSB coverage will start early in the morning with pre-parade preps. Later on, if you get cool parade pix, please consider sharing them with us, via e-mail or Flickr or Facebook or Twitter, for potential inclusion in our coverage! Thanks!)