West Seattle Grand Parade 2014, report #1: Quick clips

July 19, 2014 at 12:54 pm | In West Seattle Grand Parade, West Seattle news | 15 Comments

This year’s West Seattle Grand Parade is over in The Admiral District as of about 10 minutes ago. Our first report features some quick clips, mostly via Instagram (which has a :15 maximum). Top – the WestSide Baby Daddy Drill Team - as always, WS Baby is looking ahead to the day-after-parade Stuff the Bus Diaper Drive, tomorrow 10 am-2 pm outside HomeStreet Bank (WSB sponsor) at 41st/Alaska (with other dropoff locations). Next – the new Southside Revolution Junior Roller Derby Team:

Toward the start of the parade, the Vancouver (BC) Motorcycle Drill Team, which doesn’t perform in any other Seattle-area parades.

A parade surprise from the Seafair Pirates – they had a cannon, but no warning siren because no Moby Duck.

Someone hollered, “Where’s the boat?” One pirate replied, “In drydock – as of about 10 o’clock last night.” More parade stories to come with lots of photos and video … congratulations to organizers and participants for another great time..

15 Comments

  1. Worst parade ever. Been watching them since late 1950′s,60′s,70′s,80′s,90′s,00′s, and this year-bad.

    Comment by let them swim — 3:45 pm July 19, 2014 #

  2. We watched a “WE’RE PREGNANT” surprise announcement from a wife to her husband during the parade that was performed by dang-near all the Seafair Clowns, and you have a photo of the family in this story!!!!

    In the beginning-shot of the second video, the woman kneeling just right of center in the red t-shirt, her husband sitting cross-legged in white with their first(?) child between them. My wife and I were just a few feet to the right of the photo.

    As we watched the Seafair clowns make their way onto California Ave and start heading south, all their vehicles with lights and sirens and horns and buzzers converged on the young family making a super-fun spectacle of themselves as a dozen or more of them presented the un-suspecting husband with hugs, hand-shakes and an inflated-balloon twisted & tied like an adult pacifier that was placed in his gaping mouth as he heard the news.

    Sadly he then turned his back was to us so we didn’t get a chance to witness the excitement on his face, however the happiness of pulling off the surprise AND the love she has for him was very easily read on hers.

    That was the best thing I’ve seen in my 16 years attending the WS HIYU, err, Grand Parade.

    Happy future young family…

    A&M

    Comment by A&M — 3:47 pm July 19, 2014 #

  3. as much as I like clowns and pirates, I think my favorite this year was the luna park group. that was fun.

    always love the motorcycle drill teams.

    Comment by sam-c — 4:04 pm July 19, 2014 #

  4. A&M – I will have to check that out! Cool! Co-publisher Patrick Sand shot photos/video from the Junction while I handled the Admiral end.
    .
    LTS – it’s a no-admission-charge, volunteer production, with volunteer participants, and community sponsors (::raises hand::) who pay the costs, mostly involving street-closure barricades, as first noted here several years ago when the city suddenly threw that cost onto event presenters. Certainly if you have a suggestion for what you’d like to see but didn’t see (or ?), the new presenters at the Rotary Club of West Seattle would I’m sure be eager to hear it. Their contact info is at http://westseattlerotary.org – TR

    Comment by WSB — 4:05 pm July 19, 2014 #

  5. Unless they borrowed the costumes, I believe the Luna Park performing group was the Fabulous Downey Brothers, seen at Summer Fest – when I get to that round of photos, I’m going to compare :) We will have a few more breakout reports, as usual – one on the Kiddie Parade, and one with the list of winners (the parade is judged at several stops along the way), which is just in. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 4:22 pm July 19, 2014 #

  6. I think it was, but they had other participants in fun costumes, plus a car of “luna park royalty”

    Comment by sam-c — 4:54 pm July 19, 2014 #

  7. Hi there! Our family loves the parade and the community spirit showcased. Love to cheer for familiar faces from school, the Y, karate, and church. I’m sure some would disagree with this idea, but I wonder if there is any way to eliminate the pirates’ cannon for just a portion of the route? Our son was SO terrified that we had to leave the parade right after they went by. He could not stop crying and hiding behind a chair, crouched in terror and his little heart racing! For an event that is so family-oriented, I wonder if we could make it less scary, at least for a small portion of the route.

    Comment by AMM — 7:23 pm July 19, 2014 #

  8. Does anybody know what happened to the pirate ship?
    And how come the SPD Drill Team didn’t do much for tricks?
    AMM, my daughter used to be terrified from the cannon like that as well. We, when we heard the siren heralding the pirates,would just take a long walk around the block until they passed. She’s long grown out of it now so it just makes for a funny story.

    Comment by au — 9:02 pm July 19, 2014 #

  9. Ditto the question about Moby Duck; any word?

    Also, was wondering about the Vancouver PD – love that they always come down, and have always assumed they did many parades around town. What’s the WS-exclusive pull?

    Comment by JunctionM — 11:17 pm July 19, 2014 #

  10. maybe LTS’s disappointment was that there didn’t seem to be as many floats as usual? like the community floats; i don’t memorize who has been in the past but obviously based on the later report, the marysville strawberry float was there. is there usually like a sequim lavender festival float? Burien strawberry float? etc. etc…

    Comment by sam-c — 10:16 am July 20, 2014 #

  11. Sam – haven’t been a lot of floats in recent years but Sequim indeed didn’t visit this time, nor did the Daffodil Festival from Pierce County. If I recall correctly from sitting in on some of the behind-the-scenes stuff, floats tend to appear in a sort of reciprocity – and even though Hi-Yu doesn’t produce this parade, its appearance in some far-flung community parades has led to their floats coming here. Sending the Hi-Yu float to other parades – having a float at all! – costs money, time, and volunteers, and Hi-Yu’s many requests for community help (donations, volunteer time, help with the float) haven’t drawn much of a response that I know of. Meantime, other communities’ parades wind up happening the same day and other community organizations – those that still even HAVE floats (WS is the last neighborhood-supported float in Seattle) – also face time/money/resources challenges as they decide where to participate, if anywhere. (Yesterday’s roster included West Seattle, White Center, Des Moines, Olympia …)

    Comment by WSB — 11:36 am July 20, 2014 #

  12. Overheard one of the pirates mentioning the Moby Duck suffered a broken axle @ 10pm the night before.
    .
    I also echo the sentiments made by LTS. Been watching the parade on and off since the early 70s and this year was quite a let down. Much smaller crowd then previous years also. Not sure what could be done to make it better though – more hydros? More floats? Try to encourage more participants from out of area? Granted, it’s not so easy considering the costs involved.

    Comment by Ken — 11:58 am July 20, 2014 #

  13. Barricades and No Parking Signs.
    On 44th for almost three blocks there was a
    “no parking sign” every eight feet +/- feet. Seems over kill and cost over run. Other streets with maybe signs 30-40′. Some-one with the organization should look into the costs and for geez why so many, so close? Possibly Alki Lumber
    could donate the material and W.S. construction
    companies could build the “The No Parking”signs”.
    A possible savings. Just seems signage was way off base.

    Comment by let them swim — 2:21 pm July 20, 2014 #

  14. Have to concur with lts. 45th between Admiral and Lander had no parking signs placed on the side of the street that has permanent no parking signs on posts on the east side! Usually there are signs on the west side to clear entire street. It was better having cars parked on the west side, slowed the cars down on the detour from California.

    Comment by bronze for swimming the width — 6:32 pm July 20, 2014 #

  15. lots of Questions this year… let me see if I can answer some.

    floats: about 15 years ago Seafair Torchlight parade elbowed into the date that West Seattle Parade had been operating on for 65 years previous. We are a Seafair sanctioned event, and well we may not have liked this decision, it made the week much more bearable for thousands of other volunteers and City employees, with a week in between the Torchlight and the hydroplane races. But now we share this date with all the aforementioned communities in WSB’s comment. Many floats in the region have contractual commitments to appear at these other events. As the calendar cycles around, we will have 2 years on our old date starting in 2016, but returning to this weekend in 2018. Also as pointed out, the costs of operating a float are huge, and there are simply less out there.

    Parking Signs: the number of signs is determined by the city of Seattle. The placement is all based on a uniform traffic standard. The design is based on a uniform traffic standard. The labor involved to place these signs with a truck outfitted with the proper safety equipment, and a company to back the liabilities involved, is best left to professionals. Keep in mind every time someone steals a sign to use for their next garage sale signs additionally adds cost to the parade as well.

    Pirates cannon: a wimpy horn honk was all the warning we got this year. Usually a siren wail gives the warning. A suggestion to walk away from the route as they pass is probably the most feasible solution to that.

    Bands: Seattle schools All City Band basically eliminates the chance of any other high school band in the city coming in during the summer. Many bands now a day request payment to participate, which is a slippery slope to start down, but it will be looked at in the future.

    Community groups: Well I haven’t seen the numbers, we do seem to have an upswing in community groups and they keep upping the entertainment value of the parade as they grow their entry from year to year. Such as Luna Park for example.

    The future: It has been a long year as far as the parade committee is concerned. Months of meetings to determine how the parade would transfer over from the American Legion to the Rotary Club. Many more City of Seattle requirements piled on as some ordinances were applied to us that honestly don’t apply to us, but the Rotary Club, in the best interest of community and city relations adhered to. An extensive safety plan was developed as a requirement of the City of Seattle, to reflect a post Boston Marathon world we live in, and with the West Seattle Amateur Radio club helping out, I feel we are further ahead in this area than most parades in the city.

    Conclusion: yes, after you do all this work to make a parade to walk down the street, then you need to get the word out, and bring in all those cool parade entries. Quite frankly I personally was just relieved to see a parade go down the street. The spacing was great, community groups kept up with all the seasoned parade veterans, problems that came up were overcome in a timely manner, and in the big scheme of things, it was a good parade. Did it live up to LTS’s standard, probably not, but I respect his/her opinion. In 1993 as president of Hi-Yu, and Hi-Yu’s float driver for 10 years, I had over a dozen floats come in for the parade. Those days will likely never return.

    Conversation is good, that’s what makes the West Seattle Blog so great. yes, I’m sure we can improve the parade moving forward. But considering all the hurdles we overcame this year, Rotary Club of West Seattle did a great job taking on this huge event, and it is something they can be very proud of.

    Jim Edwards
    Coordinator (Operations)
    West Seattle Parade

    Comment by Jim — 8:15 pm July 20, 2014 #

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