(WSB file photo)
Big announcement at today’s Rotary Club of West Seattle breakfast event – the summertime Grand Parade will be presented by the Rotary starting with this year’s July 19th parade, picking up the baton from American Legion Post 160.
Josh Sutton – at right in our photo above, with incoming president Shane Carew – introduced Legion reps as well as longtime parade coordinators Jim Edwards and Dave Vague, who will continue in their roles. Sutton said he was pleased to announce that the Rotary was stepping up as the Legion was stepping back; he said the parade is a vital part of the community, and that the Rotary has big shoes to fill. At left in our photo is Josh Menashe of Menashe and Sons Jewelers (WSB sponsor), which is donating $1,000 to help with parade costs. He said the parade has always been part of his life, and he’s been going to it since childhood, so his family is pleased to be able to help with an event that is so central to the community. Sutton said the Rotary Kiddie Parade that traditionally precedes the main parade will continue too …
(WSB photo from 2012 Rotary Kiddie Parade)
… as will the Float Dodger 5K, the new Rotary-co-sponsored event that is going into its third year this parade season. More later on the Rotary breakfast itself, which featured a Medal of Honor winner as special guest; meantime, ahead, the official Rotary news release we received while finishing up this story:
Click to read the rest of Rotary Club of West Seattle taking over WS Grand Parade…
They marched and rolled and chanted in the West Seattle Grand Parade on Saturday; today, it’s your turn to take action – to answer WestSide Baby‘s call to “Stuff the Bus” in their biggest diaper drive of the year on behalf of thousands of King County babies and toddlers in need. It’s a really simple action to take, too; buy diapers and bring them to either the major West Seattle dropoff spot, the one where you’ll find the big yellow bus 10 am-2 pm, in the parking lot of AmericanWest Bank on the northeast corner of 40th/Alaska, or to one of these grocery stores where you’ll find WS Baby volunteers those same hours:
*West Seattle QFC on SW Alaska St & 42nd Ave SW (Alaska Junction)
*West Seattle Safeway on SW Admiral Way & California Ave SW (Admiral Junction)
*West Seattle Safeway on SW Alaska St & 42nd Ave SW (Jefferson Square)
*White Center Safeway on SW Roxbury St & 28th Ave SW
Sizes 4, 5, and 6 are most needed, according to WS Baby’s website. Speaking of which: If you can’t bring a donation of diapers anywhere in person today – you can donate money online and WS Baby will buy the diapers. “Help us help more kids than ever before,” is their request – as you’ll see in this WS Baby-provided video, also featuring their parade appearance:
So whatever you’re doing at midday today, detour for a few minutes for a gift to help our littlest local neighbors.
Yet more highlights from today’s West Seattle Grand Parade. Big cheers for the first-time appearance by a group for whom the parade route was like a walk in the park – Team Tracy, the breast-cancer-fighting 3-Day Walk team led by survivor and superstar fundraiser Tracy Dart. Some walkers sported bras they had decorated at a parade-prep party earlier in the week; the group was accompanied by a motorcycle:
Elsewhere on 2 wheels, Sustainable West Seattle and West Seattle Bike Connections were among the sustainable-transportation advocates who rallied young bicyclists for the first “Kidical Mass” parade ride:
1-wheelers represented, too- the Pathfinder K-8 unicyclists:
Back on 4 wheels, the West Seattle Lions Club had a multiple-vehicle presence, with the lead vehicle, if you look closely, sporting a sign noting that parade day was recently retired service-station proprietor Dick Barnecut‘s birthday (87!):
Some of the most-memorable people were cheering on the sidelines:
At California/Alaska, current West Seattle Hi-Yu royalty cheered past royalty who are competing in the Miss Seafair program this year – Kayli Schulz, representing Hi-Yu, and Victoria Ferrulli, representing the Admiral Neighborhood Association:
Speaking of competing – there were of course politicians – in alphabetical order, we start with King County Executive Dow Constantine, running for re-election but with no opponent actually campaigning:
Running for Seattle mayor, four candidates were in or at the parade – here’s City Councilmember Bruce Harrell:
Incumbent Mayor Mike McGinn wasn’t “in” the parade but was sighted on the sidelines – we didn’t see him but his Twitter account included photos:
State Senator Ed Murray started out marching with the 34th District Democrats and had broken out by the parade’s final section:
And former City Councilmember Peter Steinbrueck campaigned his way down California (we heard him asking spectators “Are you undecided?”):
We should also note that current Councilmembers Richard Conlin and Sally Bagshaw, running for re-election, were here too, as were local legislators accompanying with the 34th.
Our other Grand Parade coverage for this year, and past years, is archived here.
(WSB photos by Katie Meyer)
Every year before the West Seattle Grand Parade, kids get a parade of their own courtesy of the Rotary Club of West Seattle, the Rotary Kiddie Parade. Above, the Junior All-City Band (which trailed the rest of the paraders by a bit today); below, Charlotte led the main group:
Some paraded in costume:
Some in mini-vehicles, too:
Rotarians provided balloons for kids who signed up:
And the Kiddie Parade even drew “royalty”:
This parade travels a shorter route than the Grand Parade – down California from the north end of The Junction (SW Genesee) to the south end (SW Edmunds).
(EDITOR’S NOTE: More Grand Parade reports to be published Saturday night-Sunday morning)
(Thanks to Frank for that photo of part of the Luna Park Café entry, #1 in Commercial)
The list is just in from West Seattle Grand Parade coordinators and judges:
Overall Grand Prize Winners
1st – Marysville Strawberry Festival Float
2nd - Seattle Schools All-City Marching Band
3rd – Calgary Round-Up Band
(From the Seafair Clowns, West Seattle’s own “Officer Lumpy”)
1st – Seattle Seafair Clowns
2nd - Lake City Western Vigilantes
3rd – Keystone Kops
1st - Seafair Pirates
(Photo by Rachel Chaimson)
2nd – Joyas Mestizas – Mexican Folk Dance
3rd – Pathfinder K-8 School Unicycle Team
1st – Luna Park Café (see top photo)
2nd – Hotwire Coffee
3rd – Seattle Public Utilities
1st – Last Resort Fire Department
2nd – Hope Lutheran School
3rd – 1942 LaFrance Fire Truck
DRILL TEAMS – JUNIOR
1st - Electronette Butterflies
2nd - The Princesses of Elegance
3rd – Anointed to Praise Drill Team
DRILL TEAMS – SENIOR
1st – Electronette High Steppers & Drum Corp
2nd – Seattle Chinese Community Girls Drill Team
3rd – The Ladies of Elegance Drill Team (see them with Princesses of Elegance in clip above)
1st – Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish & School
2nd – Cub Scout Pack 793
3rd – WestSide Baby – Stuff the Bus (see video here)
1st – Marysville Strawberry Festival (see video earlier in this story)
1st – Seattle Police Pipe and Drum Corp
2nd - Kennedy Catholic High School Marching Band
We’ll continue adding photos and video to this over the course of the weekend, since we have video and/or photos of everyone in the parade! Meantime, our other Grand Parade coverage – from today and from previous years – is archived here.
(Find all our parade coverage in this archive – newest to oldest)
12:49 PM: After almost two hours, the West Seattle Grand Parade is over in the Admiral District, where it begins, and the north part of California SW has reopened to traffic as of a few minutes ago. Final entry is Hotwire Online Coffeehouse (WSB sponsor), with a live band, The Afterthoughts, on board a flatbed tow truck. Lots of great moments before that, too, and we’ll be rolling out highlights for hours to come. (P.S. Hotwire is alongside the courtyard where we hope to see you tonight for the first West Seattle Outdoor Movies presentation of the season!)
1:30 PM: Our crew on the south end of the route reports that the parade has concluded there too.
Meantime, in advance of later reports focusing on parade angles such as the trophy winners, we’re expanding this one to include not only the end of the parade but a few sights from the start!
Above, the West Seattle Hi-Yu float in action (you can also see it in tomorrow afternoon’s White Center Jubilee Days parade and the Seafair Torchlight Parade a week from tonight). Below, a quick maneuver by the Vancouver, B.C., Police Motorcycle Drill Team – in the only Seattle-area parade in which they participate!
10:16 AM: In its second year, the West Seattle Float Dodger 5K is an unquestionable hit – West Seattle Runner (Float Dodger and WSB sponsor) told us that as of earlier this week, registration already had eclipsed the first year’s total turnout, and having just watched the entire crowd pass here at California/Lander, we can verify a bigger crowd.
Our video (top of this story) includes some of the runners around the middle of the pack; we had a crew at the starting line too, and will add much more later – but for now, we’re getting close to West Seattle Grand Parade time!
ADDED 1:49 PM: The results are now available online. Brett Winegar, #720, finished in 16:11, followed by Jeffrey Bigham, #698, in 16:35. First female finisher was Caitlin Latimer, #690, in 19:19; second was Katherine Urbanski, #668, in 20:30. The official results show almost 300 runners!
We’ll be checking with organizers for other winners – best costume, etc.
ADDED 7:51 PM: A very special aspect of today’s Float Dodger 5K was the dedication. As explained on the official website:
This year’s race is dedicated to Andrea Boag, a dear friend of Tim and Lori, owners of West Seattle Runner. On June 10th, she passed away, ending a long battle with cancer. Andrea lives forever in our hearts and this race is in honor of her.
Below, with a poster honoring Andrea, are from left, West Seattle Runner co-proprietor Lori McConnell, Andrea’s sister Sara, her nephew Ethan, and her mom Kristin:
The race’s emcee – leading a moment of silence and the countdown – was KIRO TV’s Michelle Millman, herself a cancer survivor:
Here’s that countdown, and the start of the race:
The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society is a major beneficiary of the Float Dodger 5K, and Tim and Lori also invite donations in honor of Andrea – go here.
8:48 AM: The hundreds of people who’ll be part of the 70-plus entries in today’s West Seattle Grand Parade are getting ready – including West Seattle Hi-Yu volunteers accompanying this year’s float, themed “Alki Deep,” photographed a few minutes ago in the staging area. More parade-prep coverage to come; the parade starts at 11 am, heading south on California from Lander to Edmunds (see the route here; see traffic/bus changes here).
9:22 AM: At the Float Dodger 5K starting line (9:45 am, California/Charlestown), signs of the times:
Note that we’ll be sharing photos via Instagram before, during, and after – see our feed here. Another one – back at the parade’s starting line, co-coordinator Jim Edwards:
A bit of drizzle amid the fog a few minutes ago – but that seems to have stopped (no, wait, there it is again). Think sun – but bring a jacket to start off with!
ADDED 5:35 PM: A few more pre-parade scenes – featuring the Seafair Pirates, who once again came to Merrill Gardens-Admiral Heights (WSB sponsor) for breakfast:
This year’s Captain Kidd – West Seattleite Rusty Harper – shared a table with Hi-Yu royalty:
But before the parade – Moby Duck needed a fill-up, and they went over to Admiral (formerly Barnecut’s) Shell:
Our parade coverage, from today and earlier, is all archived here.
Less than 12 hours to go until the West Seattle Grand Parade, presented by American Legion Post 160, and the Rotary Club of West Seattle‘s Kiddie Parade. (Both follow the Float Dodger 5K, starting at 9:45 am at California/Charlestown, which we previewed last night.) Here are a few more preview notes:
JUNIOR ALL-CITY BAND IN KIDDIE PARADE: Don’t miss the Junior All-City Band in the Kiddie Parade! First we got this reminder from Jeff Clark, principal of Denny International Middle School, which has many ties to Junior ACB:
One of the beautiful things about our school and campus is the creation of cross-age learning opportunities — when kids of different ages have shared experiences, benefitting from cross-age mentoring. Mr. Pimpleton, Band Director for Denny International Middle School, Chief Sealth International High School, and the Seattle Public Schools All-City Band, continues to provide fantastic musical learning opportunities through-out the summer. The Junior All-City Band consists of students from all of our feeder elementary schools and current Denny students performing together — with mentoring from high school and college-age musicians. Thank you to Mr. Pimpleton and all of the volunteers who make Jr. All-City Band possible. I look forward to celebrating their success at upcoming parades! Go current and future Dolphins!
Then, from Marcus Pimpleton himself:
I would really like to highlight the work that John Aguilar has been doing. John is an alumnus of both Denny and Sealth and has participated as a volunteer in all of our Spring and Summer camps. This year he has more or less been running the Junior All-City program and deserves the lion share of the credit for what the students have accomplished this week. He has been assisted by a great group of high school students from a number of different high schools. It has been great kind of taking a back seat and watching these kids work and show what they have learned after all of these years of participating in these programs.
That’s John Aguilar in the photo above. Cheer him and the young musicians on, during the parade!
TEAM TRACY IN GRAND PARADE: Every year they walk for three days to fight breast cancer; in the West Seattle Grand Parade, West Seattleite Tracy Dart and her team will be on their feet for a few hours to encourage you to join the fight.
STUFF THE BUS: WestSide Baby‘s big contingent will be back to remind you that Sunday is the annual mega-diaper drive – although they’ll be doing some advance collecting Saturday afternoon, too, at West Seattle, White Center, and Burien supermarkets – watch our Saturday morning preview for details on that.
HOTWIRE ON THE ROUTE AND IN THE PARADE: Lora Swift from Hotline Online Coffeehouse (WSB sponsor) says, “We are in the parade too – using a GT towing truck for an ‘all American rock n’ roll band’ – The After Thoughts. They will be on the parade route playing on the flatbed of the truck then will loop around and play in the courtyard for a set. We’ll be handing out coupons at Hotwire plus free (while supplies last) organic juice pops for the kids.”
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD HONOR GUARD: Parade coordinators told us they’re especially glad to have this honor guard back to lead the parade, since with the “sequester” removing so many military groups from community appearances (think Blue Angels and Navy Seafair Fleet), they weren’t sure whether it would affect this too.
DELRIDGE GROCERY: Organizers and volunteers from the store that’s gearing up to open next year in the under-construction DESC building will be walking in the parade.
POLITICIANS: At least two candidates for mayor will be in the parade, as of this past Monday, when we sat in on part of the parade lineup meeting. In all, as of that meeting, there were five political entries.
And many more (including faves like the cannon-firing Seafair Pirates). Review our previous preview coverage, and previous years, by scrolling through this WSB archive. Better yet, just line the parade route at 11 am and cheer for your neighbors and friends.
(Sustainable West Seattle in 2012 Grand Parade; both WSB photos in this story are by Nick Adams)
We’re counting down to West Seattle Grand Parade day on Saturday, and there are two chances for kids to participate if they’re not already part of an entry.
NEW – KIDICAL MASS: Just announced:
Kids on bikes are invited to ride in the West Seattle Grand Parade July 20th as part of the Kidical Mass this Saturday. Riders of all ages are welcome and kids and families are encouraged to join in the fun.
Kidical Mass is a grass-roots movement to get more kids and families excited about bike riding. Escort your child on their decorated bike as you join Sustainable West Seattle, West Seattle Spokespeople and West Seattle Bike Connections in the parade for this family-friendly ride.
Meet at Alki Bike and Board, 2606 California Ave. SW, to ride in the parade. For more details, contact email@example.com.
The parade starts at 11 am, south on California from Lander, and stages along side streets in advance – so we’d advise meeting at AB&B with plenty of time to spare. Meantime – one more reminder about the other opportunity for kids to participate:
WEST SEATTLE ROTARY KIDDIE PARADE: On foot or on wheels, kids are invited to parade down part of the route, from SW Genesee to SW Edmunds, right before the big parade, with the Rotary Club of West Seattle. Details (and contact info if you have questions) here.
What a sight at Seacrest tonight – Toni shares photos of the All-City Band‘s practice/photo session, with what amounted to a front-row seat. You’ll get to see and hear the All-City Band marching down California SW during Saturday’s West Seattle Grand Parade. The band features musicians from schools around the city, directed by West Seattle’s own Marcus Pimpleton, music leader at Chief Sealth International High School and Denny International Middle School. This summer, as noted here previously, ACB has been practicing right across the street from those two schools, at Southwest Athletic Complex. But tonight, they were at Seacrest:
Their first metro-area parades were last weekend, according to the Friends of ACB Facebook page. And along with upcoming parades, you can also catch the All-City Band and other groups Friday, July 26th, performing at 7 pm at SWAC – free! – in the “Band Jam“ tune-up for the next night’s Seafair Torchlight Parade.
Now back to the West Seattle Grand Parade: It starts at 11 am Saturday, proceeding southbound on California from Lander (north end of Hiawatha) to Edmunds in The Junction; remember that the route, and some side streets used for staging, will be a no-parking zone starting earlier that morning (we noticed the signs are now out), even before the street closure kicks in. The ACB isn’t the only marching band you’ll see – the John F. Kennedy Catholic High School Band from nearby Burien is in the lineup too.
We’re counting down all week to Saturday’s West Seattle American Legion Post 160 Grand Parade (preceded again this year by two events in which you’re welcome to participate BEFORE watching the big parade – the Float Dodger 5K [registration info here] and the Rotary Club of West Seattle Kiddie Parade [participation info here]).
Tonight, parade coordinators – all volunteers – met at Post 160 to rough out the parade lineup. We observed for a while to pick up some tidbits about this year’s parade. For starters: Three far-flung participating groups are among the 70-plus entries. From 700 miles away, the Calgary Roundup Band, which won “Best Marching Band” in this parade two years ago, is returning.
(2011 Sequim float in Grand Parade, framegrab from WSB video)
From 70 miles away, the Sequim Irrigation Festival float will roll down California SW during the Grand Parade for the first time in a few years.
And once again this year, from 140 miles away, the Vancouver (B.C.) Police Motorcycle Drill Team will roar along the parade route, right after SPD’s own drill team.
The parade starts at 11 am Saturday; here’s the route. More previews as the countdown continues all week! And a reminder that tomorrow (Tuesday) night, one of this year’s community honorees, Orville Rummel Community Service Award winner Judy Pickens, will be formally feted during the West Seattle Hi-Yu Concert in the Park, a free event featuring the West Seattle Big Band, 7 pm Tuesday on the east lawn at Hiawatha Community Center/Park.
With the West Seattle Grand Parade just nine days away, coordinators have a request: They’re looking for two people who have convertibles and would be willing to drive them in the parade, with dignitaries on board! The parade heads down California SW from Lander (by Hiawatha) to Edmunds (south end of The Junction) starting at 11 am on Saturday, July 20th. If you can – or might be able to – help, please e-mail parade co-coordinator Dave Vague ASAP at firstname.lastname@example.org – thanks!
Three updates today as the 2013 West Seattle Grand Parade, presented by American Legion Post 160, gets closer (11 am Saturday, July 20th). First, parade coordinators have announced the two community honorees who will lead the parade:
ANN ADKINS CHOSEN AS GRAND MARSHAL: Generations of swimmers at the West Seattle Y (longtime WSB sponsor) know Ann, who just retired after a very long run as its aquatics director, according to Josh Sutton from the Y:
During her almost forty years, tens of thousands of kids in West Seattle learned to swim and be safe around the water, thousands of seniors engaged in water exercise classes that kept them healthy and active, and hundreds of youth competed on the Y swim team, took lifeguarding classes and started their first job under Ann’s tutelage.
Throughout, Ann has been an indefatigable leader, working within the community, the Y and with other organizations like the Arthritis Foundation and the Red Cross to ensure highly trained staff and volunteers leading high-quality programs at the Y. She does this quietly and without much need for fanfare. In addition, Ann and her husband Ron have lived in West Seattle since the 1970′s, raised their kids and grandkids, just west of the Junction.
We are so happy that Ann has been chosen as the Grand Marshal, and Y staff & volunteers look forward to celebrating with her as we walk the parade route this year!
JUDY PICKENS RECEIVES RUMMEL TROPHY: The Orville Rummel Award for Outstanding Service to the Community (named after the parade’s founder and explained in this 2010 WSB report) goes to Judy Pickens:
Judy’s decades of community service and advocacy have included a longrunning project bringing together education and environmental stewardship – Salmon in the Classroom, working with hundreds of local students and teachers every year (despite government budget cuts for program support) to raise salmon fry at schools, later released into Fauntleroy Creek, where Judy has long been a watershed steward, which in turn involves many other types of volunteer work. The other side of the salmon lifecycle sees her gathering volunteers to watch for returning spawners in the fall, after a popular annual drumming event at the creek overlook to call them home. Judy also currently edits the Fauntleroy Community Association newsletter, which is a beefy look at community news, the type that many community councils used to produce but seldom do any more.
Congratulations to Ann and Judy, who will be officially honored pre-parade during the West Seattle Hi-Yu Concert in the Park two weeks from tonight – 7 pm Tuesday, July 16th — on the east lawn at Hiawatha Community Center.
Speaking of Hi-Yu:
HI-YU SEEKING JUNIOR COURT ‘ALUMS’ FOR PARADE: That’s this year’s West Seattle Hi-Yu Summer Festival float, peering into the “Alki Deep.” In this year’s Grand Parade, a special group will march, according to this announcement Diane Szender asked us to share:
**** Calling all Past Hi-Yu Junior Court members ****
Come join in the tradition of carrying the Hi-Yu Banner and the Business Sponsor banner in front of the float during the West Seattle American Legion parade on Saturday, July 20th at 11 am. We’d love to have you participate in Hi-Yu reds and white, wearing your tiaras and Hi-Yu sashes. If you’d like to join in, please call 206 932-1704 for more details.
More parade previews in the days ahead! It starts at 11 am July 20th from California/Lander in the Admiral District, proceeding down California to SW Edmunds in The Junction (see the route on the parade website) – following the second annual West Seattle Float Dodger 5K. The parade also continues to welcome donations to help defray the costs of permits and signage.
(WSB photo from 2011 West Seattle Grand Parade)
So apparently this will be a summer without a Seattle 4th of July fireworks show.
A summer possibly without Blue Angels.
But we’ll have the West Seattle Grand Parade – right?
Well, provided there’s a little help footing the bills, yes. The parade is planned for 11 am Saturday, July 20th, and co-coordinator Dave Vague says:
We are still in our planning stages and have secured a couple of our sponsors from last year, but we are still a little short and are once again asking for the support of the West Seattle Community, who has been so generous in the past and helped us to continue this cherished community event.
Donations can be made at the West Seattle Grand Parade website:
If you’re new in town or have missed our coverage of this in recent years, the costs of putting on the parade have continued to go up, and just the barricades/no-parking signs alone cost thousands of dollars. WSB will be donating again this year and we hope that if you can, you will too.
Here’s a lost bunny who doesn’t really qualify for the WSB Pets page … so we’re showing it here. Markus explains:
We went to the West Seattle Parade this weekend and unfortunately lost our daughter’s beloved stuffed animal bunny. I thought the bunny made it home in my backpack, but others saw her take it out while I wasn’t looking. :( We posted some flyers around Hinds & California where we sat for the parade. … If there is any way to help spread the word, our little one is still asking where she is…
If you have any ideas about the bunny’s whereabouts, e-mail the bunny’s companion’s dad at Markus@rocketgraphicsinc.com.
Two Admiral notes this morning – first, both the Admiral District Business Association made its debut in Saturday’s West Seattle Grand Parade, in which the Admiral Neighborhood Association marched too:
(Photo by Nick Adams for WSB)
(Photo by WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand)
(All of our West Seattle Grand Parade coverage can be seen here.) Second, the ANA-presented Summer Concerts at Hiawatha start in just three days! Thursday night, come hear The Local Strangers, live on the east lawn at Hiawatha Community Center (2700 California SW, but this is on the Walnut side of the site), free – bring your own blanket(s)/chair(s); show starts at 6:30. After this week, there are five more Thursday night shows – the schedule’s here (note that August 16th’s concert is at Alki Beach – it’s a SC@H tradition to have one there each year, since city cutbacks at Alki Community Center meant they can no longer present a summertime outdoor concert)
(Photos by Nick Adams for WSB)
Yet another facet of the interwoven events of Saturday, in connection with the West Seattle Grand Parade, was the Rotary Club of West Seattle-presented Kiddie Parade. Once again on Saturday, the proud participants marched down California from SW Genesee to Edmunds. Or rolled:
First, as usual, they mill about, which is almost as much of a spectacle:
Costumes usually abound:
Always lots of kids in the “main parade,” but this is a chance for little ones to enjoy the being-in-the-parade experience, even if they’re not part of a school, group, church, etc. that has an entry.
(Photos by Christopher Boffoli for WSB)
When Seattle Police Officer John Bernasconi pulled his motorcycle up to the curb near the start of the West Seattle Grand Parade route this morning, to join the Drill Team as its leader for one last ride, a colleague joked, “Hey, this is seniors’ parking.”
The officer laughed. Within an hour, there would be time for more somber emotions – though the hugs and handshakes began long before he and his colleagues reached the California/Charlestown intersection where a ceremony was planned to mark his last ride.
This year, he is retiring, not just from the Drill Team after 36 years (12 as Drillmaster), but from the force after 43 years. We told his story here on Thursday,
Though he has worked from the downtown-based Traffic Division, those who speak fondly of him include Southwest Precinct leadership past and present – Traffic Division vets – current commander Capt. Steve Paulsen, past commander Capt. Joe Kessler (who now leads the West Precinct and was at today’s ceremony), current operations Lt. Pierre Davis. “He is just the nicest guy” is something we heard often.
And fittingly for a nice guy, though the morning was a tribute to him, he brought the gifts – bouquets of flowers for his wife Cindy, daughter Alexandra (visiting from Australia), and his mom (visiting from California). Our nine-minute uncut video shows how the farewell unfolded:
(That video is by WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand; for a shorter clip, see Christopher Boffoli‘s video here.)
What made this particularly unusual was the fact it was held during the West Seattle Grand Parade – Officer Bernasconi’s choice, because he is a native West Seattleite, and it’s where he and Cindy, married 28 years, raised 23-year-old Alexandra:
Then after applause and more hugs ..
…off he rode:
…while his teammates, and their counterparts from Vancouver, B.C. – who as shown in our long clip also stopped to pay tribute – continued the parade.
(Video of the race’s start and first 2 photos, by Christopher Boffoli for WSB)
About 300 people ran and/or walked in the first-ever West Seattle Float Dodger 5K, a kind of opening act for the West Seattle Grand Parade, was a big success, reports Tim McConnell of West Seattle Runner (WSB sponsor), which played a big role in making it happen. Tim and wife/co-proprietor Lori McConnell both participated, too, in costume (which was encouraged):
The race started under cloudy skies, but no rain:
The “float dodging” happened after participants walked/ran the first leg of the race, north from California/Charlestown to California/Lander, the starting line of the parade – where the West Seattle Hi-Yu float was parked, minus royalty, for them to run around:
(WSB photo by Tracy Record)
From there, they ran southbound along the entire parade route to the finish at California/Edmunds. The results are available online now – go here. The top male finisher was 29-year-old Mark Mandi, with a net time of 15:28; top female finisher was 30-year-old Bekka Martin, with a net time of 20:17. Other winners included the beneficiaries, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and the Rotary Club of West Seattle, whose members helped with race staging/organizing – here’s Gary Potter of Potter Construction (WSB sponsor) with some of the course markers:
(WSB photo by Patrick Sand)
This was one of two Rotary events on parade morning – the other was the Kiddie Parade; photos from that are coming up. Run for Good Racing Company was a partner in making the Float Dodger 5K happen, too. So far, sounds like the first one won’t be the last – so watch for the registration announcement next year!
(WSB video of the All-City Band, top Overall Trophy Winner today)
Just announced by West Seattle Grand Parade coordinators – today’s winners!
Clowns & Comics
1. Seattle Seafair Clowns
2. Keystone Kops
1. Pathfinder K-8 School (Unicycle Team)
2. Lake City Vigilantes
3. Seattle Seafair Pirates
(Photo by Dan Holz)
1. Kennedy Catholic High School Marching Band
(This photo and next one by Nick Adams for WSB)
2. Seattle Seahawks Blue Thunder
3. Pacific Northwest Drumline (Tie)
3. Seattle Police Pipe & Drum Band
Drill Teams – Senior
1. Electronetts High Steppers Drill Team & Drumline
2. The Dolls Drill Team
3. Super Steppers Marching Team
Drill Teams – Junior
1. Electronetts Butterflies Drill Team
2. Washington Diamonds Drill Team
3. Daughters of Royalty Drill Team
Cars & Antique Cars
(Photo courtesy Lance Rasmussen)
1. Pacific Northwest DeLorean Club
2. Last Resort Fire Department
3. Seattle Lutheran Schools
1. Your Seattle City Light and the Northwest Tap Connection Dance Team
2. Luna Park Café
3. Seattle Public Utilities
(WSB video of part of the OLG parade entry)
1. Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish & School
2. Little Gym of West Seattle
(Photo by Nick Adams for WSB)
3. WestSide Baby
1. Marysville Strawberry Festival
Overall Trophy Winners
1. Seattle Schools All-City Marching Band (see video atop this story)
2. Chinese Community Girls Drill Team
3. Sumner High School Marching Band
It’s 12:33 pm as we publish this – almost 2 hours after the West Seattle Grand Parade began with the Seattle Police Motorcycle Drill Team, almost 3 hours after the Float Dodger 5K preceded the parade down the course – and even here at the starting line, California/Lander, the parade isn’t over yet. About 10 minutes ago, the Seafair Pirates took their turn heading down the route, and we caught their first cannon blast on video (above). The very start of the route is a great place to watch – especially if you like to see a bit of the behind-the-scenes maneuvering; for parade participants (we’ve been in it three times), getting the signal to move onto the route is a thrilling moment – here’s Lora Swift from Hotwire Online Coffeehouse (WSB sponsor), atop her Mini looking out of, of course, a coffee cup:
Just before we walked up to photograph the Hotwire entry, Lora e-mailed us this photo from HER viewpoint atop the cupmobile:
Sustainable West Seattle has, of course, a human-powered entry again this year:
And while the Seattle Police Pipes and Drums were marching for their first appearance in this parade, the U.S. Coast Guard helicopter flew over (as of the Monday night parade-lineup meeting, it had been requested, but it’s never a sure thing; an emergency might call for it) – it’s at the end of this short clip:
And of course there was royalty! One of the Seafair princesses was Kelsey Bills, representing West Seattle Hi-Yu in this year’s Seafair Scholarship Program for Women –
Will she become queen? We’ll find out just before next Saturday night’s Torchlight Parade. Meantime, Hi-Yu’s appearance today will be in one of our upcoming reports.
ADDED 12:56 PM: Traffic note – the parade is over now at the NORTH end of the route, through the Admiral District, and from Admiral Safeway, we are seeing traffic moving again along California in this area. The parade still has some time to go in The Junction, though, so it won’t be fully reopened for a while.
ADDED 1:07 PM: The parade has now finished passing California/Charlestown, our crew at that intersection reports.
ADDED 1:56 PM: One more clip for this story – Nancy Woodland from WestSide Baby entering the parade route as Grand Marshal, followed by the WS Baby bus and volunteers (even chanting!), and then after a bit of a pause, Shirley Vradenburgh riding with the Orville Rummel Trophy for Outstanding Community Service:
In forthcoming reports, we’ll have much more parade coverage; we had four photojournalists covering today’s parade (including a team covering the mid-course farewell ceremony for SPD drill-team Drillmaster Officer John Bernasconi).
(Scroll down for latest pre-parade updates till it all gets going around 10:30)
We’re starting West Seattle Grand Parade morning at Merrill Gardens-Admiral Heights (WSB sponsor), where the Seafair Pirates have just swept in for a “raid” (so says a sign on the front door) – and are serenading residents, staff, and West Seattle Hi-Yu royalty, with pirate songs (ending “We never put out to sea”) at the start of a big day. Here’s the Pirates’ leader, Captain Kidd (aka Lance English), with members of last year’s royalty:
One pirate appeared to be attempting to “borrow” this year’s Junior Court Queen Thea‘s pendant for their treasure chest … hmm:
In a couple hours, the Pirates will “sail” Moby Duck down California SW, cannon blasts, sword-sweeping and all. The road is closed from Admiral Way south, remember; the Float Dodger 5K starts from California/Charlestown at 9:45, while parade preps continue further north, with the route going southbound from SW Lander all the way to SW Edmunds.
9:19 AM UPDATE: California outside Admiral Safeway/Lafayette is starting to fill up with parade participants. Here’s the WestSide Baby bus, not only promoting tomorrow’s diaper drive but following WS Baby executive director Nancy Woodland, Grand Marshal for today’s parade:
Thirsty? Next to Admiral Safeway, Umpqua Bank (WSB sponsor) manager Kirk Mead and team are ready to offer bottled water:
Across the street, some logistics – parade co-coordinator Dave Vague (right) checked in with Josh Sutton, who’ll be driving the West Seattle Y (WSB sponsor) bus, about the banner that will be displayed to show the Y is a major sponsor of the parade:
The Seattle Police Pipes and Drums members, making their first West Seattle Grand Parade appearance, are gathering:
You’ll see them BETWEEN the two motorcycle squads (Seattle and Vancouver, B.C.). Meantime, we can guarantee this will be the biggest bus in the parade:
And yes, “RapidRide Man,” costume and all, will be on hand, the bus’s minders told us. Meantime, it’s getting closer to Float Dodger 5K start time down at California/Charlestown – we’ve got crews there too and expect to hear from them shortly. We’re going out to check on more arrivals, including, we expect, some parade-watchers in the Hiawatha vicinity.
9:44 AM: More than 250 runners/walkers are about to start the Float Dodger 5K – here’s a photo from our crew – it heads NORTH on California before turning around to head south to finish at California/Edmunds:
10:04 AM: The runners/walkers have all completed the first section of the course – they ran north to California/Lander and “dodged” the Hi-Yu float, which was parked in the intersection to play the role.
They’re now all headed south to the end of the parade route at California/Edmunds. (300 participants, we’re told!) Separate story with 5K video and more, later! P.S. (as of 10:08 am) – the Seattle and Vancouver B.C. motorcycle units have JUST arrived, and if you’ve been following our coverage, you know they have a special event ahead at California/Charlestown, as longtime Drillmaster for SPD, Officer John Bernasconi, a West Seattleite, relinquishes his command (he’s retiring this year) – added, we walked up just as he was arriving around 10:10:
As of 10:19 am, the motorcycles appear to be getting ready to leave – if you’re at California/Charlestown, get ready! Not sure when our next update will be – watch us on Twitter.
Check our parade preview from last night for more advance info; more pre-parade coverage to come.
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!)
Historic event during West Seattle Grand Parade: Officer John Bernasconi’s last ride as SPD team’s DrillmasterJuly 19, 2012 at 4:09 pm | In West Seattle Grand Parade, West Seattle news | 17 Comments
(Photo of Officer John Bernasconi, courtesy Cindy Bernasconi)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Seattle Police Officer John Bernasconi, the SPD Motorcycle Drill Team‘s Drillmaster, will do this Saturday what no one before him has done:
He will relinquish his leadership of the team in a ceremony during the West Seattle Grand Parade.
Officer Bernasconi is retiring this year, after 43 years on the force, where he serves in the Traffic Division. He is also the longest active member of the Motorcycle Drill Team, which he joined 36 1/2 years ago – in January 1976, becoming Drillmaster in 2000. And – he is a West Seattleite, born and raised here.
That’s why he has chosen to have the changeover ceremony during the West Seattle Grand Parade, instead of a parade later in the season, as has been customary, we are told, for those before him.
It won’t happen at the start or the end of the drill team’s performance in the parade – but right in the middle. And you’re welcome to watch – but you have to be in the right place!
(WSB photo from just before the start of 2010 parade, in which we rode behind Post 160′s commander)
This Saturday’s West Seattle Grand Parade is suddenly short two convertibles for the VIP’s who ride toward the start – and organizers are asking if anyone out there in WSB-land can loan theirs. One is needed for Orville Rummel Trophy winner Shirley Vradenburgh (here’s our story from last night), and the other for parade-presenting American Legion Post 160‘s Commander Chris Shea, a Navy veteran riding in his final parade before a change of command for the Post. If you can loan one (or two!) convertibles to the parade, please contact co-coordinator Dave Vague ASAP – e-mail email@example.com. Thanks!
Our countdown to this Saturday’s West Seattle American Legion Post 160 Grand Parade continues with a brand-new entry:
Making their first appearance in the West Seattle Grand Parade this year are the Seattle Police Pipes and Drums. They practice at the Harbor Patrol facility on Lake Union, where we recorded that video last night. (They also participated in this year’s Seattle Police Memorial at Forest Lawn back in May.)
Their participation will change the first part of the parade a bit – the Seattle Police Motorcycle Drill Team will take off from the parade route’s California/Lander starting line at about 10:30, and instead of the Vancouver (B.C.) Police motorcycles being right after SPD, the Pipes and Drums will march … along with a special guest: The Boston Police Gaelic Column of Pipes and Drums. The West Seattle Grand Parade is the only parade in which they’ll participate; the Seattle and Boston pipers/drummers then have a big concert on Sunday night, along with even more visitors, from Delta, B.C. (The concert’s at 6 pm Sunday at Seattle University – full details here.)
The SPD Pipes and Drums are in their second year (their Boston mentors, in contrast, are in their 21st); they’re nonprofit, all-volunteer, supported but not financed by the department. And the group includes two West Seattleites:
The drum major, Scotty Bach, works in Criminal Intelligence at headquarters. One of the pipers is Michael Jongma, who’s with the Traffic Division:
And while he’s NOT a West Seattleite, we photographed Det. Mark Jamieson, who we usually talk with several times a week:
He is a member of the Public Affairs/Media Relations team downtown, so he’s often quoted in news stories – he and his colleagues find the info that us journalist types call to ask for. (They also write for SPD Blotter, tweet, appear on camera at major breaking-news scenes, etc.)
So look for the SPD Pipes and Drums this Saturday along California SW, between Lander and Edmunds, right after the SPD motorcycles (which start everything off at 10:30), marching with their Boston counterparts; then, see them Sunday night at Seattle U’s Pigott Auditorium (ticket info here).
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