(2009 WSB photo by Christopher Boffoli)
At this time tomorrow, 77 entries will be getting into place for the 2011 edition of the West Seattle Grand Parade, presented by American Legion Post 160. The post’s Junction headquarters are where parade coordinators gather to rough out the lineup – we sat in on that meeting this past Monday night. But after two hours of intensive discussion – with parade co-coordinator Dave Vague using his Father’s Day gift iPad, and parade co-coordinator Jim Edwards checking a table full of the actual entries, while Doreen Vague handled logistics regarding judging – the final plan still had some tweaking to be done, before one last meeting last night. The lineup includes:
*2 motorcycle drill teams (this is the only local parade where you see the Vancouver, B.C. team too – they’re in the top photo)
*More than half a dozen floats, including West Seattle Hi-Yu‘s “Sparkling Seattle” and visitors from as far away as the Sequim Irrigation Festival float
*4 marching bands, including the famous Calgary Roundup Band, back for the first time in a few years
*More than half a dozen drill teams, including the saber-wielding Las Senoritas
*Community entries including a few new ones, such as Sustainable West Seattle, and longtime participants including schools, churches, Scouts, community groups
*Commercial entries including Hotwire Coffee (WSB sponsor)
*The full Seafair contingent, including their new (as of last year) float and, of course, the Pirates
*As announced here earlier: 2011 Grand Marshals Art and Gloria Peters, and 2011 Orville Rummel Trophy winner Cindi Barker
The parade starts at 11 am Saturday from California/Lander and travels down California till the route ends at Edmunds on the south end of The Junction (here’s the map on the parade’s official website). Side streets along California at the north end of the route are part of the staging area, so in the early morning hours tomorrow, you’re going to want to steer clear of there. Kids are invited to join in the West Seattle Rotary Kiddie Parade gathering at 10 am at California/Genesee (more here). And remember, the parade’s not over till you see the tow trucks! (They’re entry #77.)
The “no parking” signs are up, looking ahead to Saturday, when the American Legion Post 160-presented West Seattle Grand Parade will not only close California from Admiral to Edmunds (the parade starts a block south of Admiral, at Lander), but also will restrict parking on that stretch and some side streets near the start of the parade route, starting at 7 am. There’s one big difference this year – Post 160 had to pay thousands of dollars for signage that the city used to handle, so community sponsors have pitched in, and you’ll see them acknowledged in big new banners. But otherwise, parade coordinators told us at the official pre-parade lineup meeting (that’ll be a separate preview story!) that the restrictions are pretty much the same as in years past, and if your street is affected, the signs are now in place (the one in our photo is at the start of the route by Lafayette Elementary). The pre-parade staging also is minus the former back parking lot of Admiral Safeway, but some of the vehicles that used to queue up there, like convertibles with Hi-Yu Senior Court candidates, aren’t a factor this year since the competition has moved to the fall (you’ll still see current royalty on the Hi-Yu “Sparkling Seattle” float). So who IS in the parade, you ask? Some old favorites, and new additions – more on that tomorrow! It all starts at 11 am Saturday, southbound on California from Lander to Edmunds (here’s the map),
Tonight, you’ll find Cindi Barker at the quarterly meeting of the Morgan Community Association, in her role as information coordinator. Like many leadership positions in neighborhood councils, it’s an unsung-hero role – no glamour, no glory, no pay, lots of hard work. But last night, as much as she shies from the limelight anyway, Cindi was in it for a brief moment at intermission of the West Seattle Hi-Yu Concert in the Park, as West Seattle Grand Parade co-coordinator Dave Vague (above left) presented her with the Orville Rummel Trophy for Outstanding Service to the Community, which she’ll carry in Saturday’s parade:
We wrote about the award’s history last year, after WSB was announced as its 2010 recipient. Parade-hosting American Legion Post 160 has presented it each year since 1984, a half-century after its namesake, then-Post Commander Orville Rummel, founded in 1934 what was originally called the Hi-Yu Parade.
Cindi works as a manager in Boeing’s 777 program, and spends copious hours of her “free time” in community volunteer work. Perhaps her most visible current role is with West Seattle Be Prepared, the groundbreaking neighborhood-preparedness effort that for the past three-plus years has set the bar for other parts of the city, setting up volunteer-led “neighborhood hubs” that will help coordinate communication and calls for help if the unthinkable ever happens. Below, Cindi is at left with Sharonn Meeks during a “hub” drill last fall:
Cindi’s history as a volunteer in community service goes back more than a quarter-century, including advisory committees such as the citywide Parks Levy Oversight Committee and the local Southwest Precinct Advisory Committee, neighborhood-planning roles with the City Neighborhood Council as well as MoCA – a long list of committees and roles with detail-oriented work whose results will last for years – the roll-up-your-sleeves-and-dig-into-the-details work that is particularly unglamorous, since you can’t point to a specific project and say “I did that!” (not that Cindi would anyway). She also has worked with youth, mentoring the Robotics Club at Chief Sealth International High School for several years. And she helped found Boeing Women in Leadership almost a decade ago.
After she accepted the award last night, we asked for her reaction. “Very cool!” she said – then quickly adding, “Nothing happens without everyone else” – in other words, no matter what you’re coordinating or leading, you can’t do it unless there are others to pitch in. Exactly what you would expect to hear from Cindi, whom we first met when WSB began to focus on community news more than four years ago. She’s practical but also resolutely cheery, no matter how tough the task. So look for her winning smile toward the start of the parade route (California SW from Lander to Edmunds) on Saturday morning, starting at 11 am, and give her a cheer. The unsung heroes have so few chances to receive one. She’s been in the parade before – appropriately enough, with an entry honoring volunteers.
After the jump – the full list of Orville Rummel Trophy winners, from 1984 through Cindi: Click to read the rest of West Seattle Grand Parade countdown: The Orville Rummel Trophy goes to … Cindi Barker!…
Another big weekend ahead, rain or shine – including the West Seattle Grand Parade‘s 2011 edition, presented by American Legion Post 160, Saturday (July 23) at 11 am, from California/Lander to California/Edmunds. We’ll be previewing it all week long, starting this morning with parade organizers’ announcement of two of the special honorees you’ll see toward the start of the parade – the Grand Marshals, Art and Gloria Peters:
(2007 West Seattle Grand Parade photo by Creighton)
Art and Gloria have been parade favorites for close to a decade now – a long-married couple who are U.S. Navy veterans from World War II and the Korean War. We talked to them along the pre-parade sidelines three years ago. Adding three years to what they told us then, they’ve been married for 64 years, and the longevity of their union is what their parade vehicle usually pays homage to, “Art and Gloria, still married” (as seen here). Cheer them on – along with the 70-plus other entries/participants – this Saturday, all along this route, following the West Seattle Rotary Kiddie Parade at 10 am on a shorter route southbound from California/Genesee (all kids invited to join in, more info here).
At the West Seattle Summer Fest information booth, besides “where’s the stage?” “when’s (fill in the band name)?” and “anybody here selling strawberry shortcake?” frequent questions include the dates of other upcoming major summer events. So, a couple quick notes tonight on three of the biggest events ahead (all of which we are co-sponsoring):
WEST SEATTLE OUTDOOR MOVIES START ONE WEEK FROM TONIGHT: Next Saturday (July 16th), get to the Hotwire Online Coffeehouse (WSB sponsor) courtyard early and stake out your spot for the season’s first of six West Seattle Outdoor Movies, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” (trailer above). Each movie screens at dusk and will have preshow entertainment this year (find the schedule here). Free, but bring a few bucks for concessions and raffles that raise money for local nonprofits.
WEST SEATTLE GRAND PARADE, TWO WEEKS FROM TODAY: 11 am Saturday, July 23rd, the big parade coordinated by American Legion Post 160 rolls down California from Lander to Edmunds, with floats, bands, community entries, motorcycles, and more – including traditional favorites like the Seafair Pirates and All-City Band, and there’s always something/someone new. The parade’s online at thewestseattleparade.com and on Facebook here.
ALKI ART FAIR, TWO WEEKS FROM TODAY/TOMORROW: Also on July 23rd, plus July 24th, this year’s Alki Art Fair at the beach. WSB is a co-sponsor for the first time, and while you’ll see a longer preview here in the next day or so, there’s advance word on the Art Fair website now – including the Alki Bathhouse centennial celebration, and music on two stages!
(WSB photo from July 2009 parade)
Hours before one of the major events that American Legion Post 160 sponsors/co-sponsors each year – the Memorial Day service at Forest Lawn (WSB sponsor), 2 pm – there’s good news about another one, the West Seattle Grand Parade. Because of city budget cuts and changes, Post 160 has to pay the estimated $3,000 bill to block off California SW, as reported here in February; the parade has no entry fees, so Post 160 asked for donations to make sure the parade could go on. In April, they added a link for online donations. And this morning, Post 160′s Dave Vague sends word they have reached the goal:
You did it, West Seattle! Thanks to the sponsorships and donations by our generous West Seattle community, the West Seattle American Legion Post 160 will be hosting the 78th annual Grand Parade on Saturday, July 23, 2011, at 11:00. Thank you so very much West Seattle Blog for getting our message out, and to all of your readers for their support! We could not have done this without the generous support from the following:
*West Seattle Christian Church
*West Seattle YMCA
*Illusions Hair Design
*Luna Park Cafe
*PCC Natural Markets
*34th District Democrats
*Dorothy H Wickland
*Explorer West Middle School
*West Seattle Blog
Thanks to all for helping to continue with this cherished community event. More news about the event will follow as we get closer to the parade date.
(The Y, Illusions, Ventana, and PCC are also WSB sponsors.) If this is your first summer in West Seattle, the parade runs from California/Lander in the Admiral District to California/Edmunds in The Junction (here’s a map). It’s preceded by the Kiddies Parade, sponsored by the Rotary Club of West Seattle.
(2010 West Seattle Grand Parade photo by Christopher Boffoli for WSB)
Is it worth at least a few dollars to you to save a West Seattle tradition?
Two months ago, the volunteers who run the West Seattle American Legion Post 160 Grand Parade sent up the first warning signal (WSB story here) that they will need financial help to bring back the decades-old tradition this year: Thousands of dollars worth of help that used to be provided by the city, to block off a mile-plus of California SW for the parade, is now something Post 160 is supposed to pay for. And since the parade does not charge entry fees – if it did, it would have to pay an even bigger bill for a costlier permit – that means a call for sponsors/donations.
In that February report, parade chair Dave Vague asked for ideas of how to raise the money. WSB commenter Jordan suggested using PayPal for donations. That’s now been set up – to take donations large and small.
(Note that while the parade is NOT a West Seattle Hi-Yu Festival event, Hi-Yu has agreed to lend the Grand Parade its PayPal setup, so that’s what your receipt will reflect.)
Vague tells WSB they need to raise $4,000. As first noted in the February report, the road-closure barricades will cost $3,000. The parade permit will cost $500 (if they charged entry fees, it would be $2,000 more!). And they would like to have a bit of pad beyond that for potential expenses such as sign damage and a banner if major donors/sponsors emerge.
Speaking of that, they would still welcome sponsors – you can reach Vague through Post 160 at (206) 935-9407, or e-mail him: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Three months till this year’s parade (July 23) – provided the money can be found. Here’s the donation-page link again. You don’t have to have a PayPal account – you can use any major credit card.
P.S. The parade now has a Facebook page, too – “like” it here.
(WSB photo from 2010 West Seattle Grand Parade, by Christopher Boffoli)
Yet another city-budget shock wave is rippling tonight – this time, one that casts a cloud over a decades-old West Seattle summertime tradition.
American Legion Post 160, longtime sponsor of the midsummer West Seattle Grand Parade, has just started planning for this year’s parade, set for July 23rd, and has learned it’s facing a big new bill – not unlike the local youth-sports leagues that are suddenly paying thousands more than they used to.
Last year, we reported on the close call American Legion Post 160 and other summertime event sponsors had with a city “cost-recovery” proposal – at one point in May, it looked like events happening just weeks later might have to pay for their own traffic control, which the city has always picked up, and that could have cost the West Seattle Grand Parade $1,500 it didn’t have.
Given the short notice and big protests from other affected groups, the city decided to pull back for last year, while issuing a warning about this year’s budget. So now, it’s 2011. Post 160′s parade chair Dave Vague tells WSB, “Although the city has not changed its fee schedule for the parade, the Seattle DOT is now requiring us to handle all of our own No Parking signs. I asked one of the barricade companies for a bid and it is going to cost us $3,000 to put up all of the signs. Needless to say, this is too large a burden for the American Legion to take on by themselves now.”
The “no fee-schedule change” to which Vague refers cuts both ways. As explained in our story last year, while the obvious solution would seem to be for Post 160 to charge entry fees for commercial participants, they can’t; parades that charge entry fees are charged sharply higher permit fees. Right now, so that their permit fees stay low, there’s no fee for anyone to enter (though some donations are received).
So how to handle the $3,000? Vague says, Post 160 is turning to you for ideas and support:
We are looking to the West Seattle Community to help us raise the necessary funds for the parade or help us find a sponsor or sponsors to help us with the cost. If your readers would like to donate or have ideas on how we could raise the funds needed, they can contact the American Legion at (206) 935-9407 or write me at email@example.com.
(WSB photo from 2010 West Seattle Grand Parade, by Mindon Win)
As longtime fans of the West Seattle Grand Parade, and co-sponsor of multiple community events each year since we became a business, we have already said (as we did last year) that WSB will be first in line to be a sponsor if Post 160 decides to go that route. What’s your thought about the best solution? Let Post 160 know, and/or post a comment here.
(All photos by Christopher Boffoli unless otherwise credited)
There were actually two parades in West Seattle on Saturday – with the Rotary Club of West Seattle-presented Kiddie Parade charming the crowd in The Junction ahead of the American Legion Post 160 Grand Parade. This participant had not just a tiger in the tank, but also on the head:
Other creative costuming was sighted, too:
And just like in the Grand Parade, some cool cars made their way down the route:
Yes, the proper parade rider must have sun protection:
(Photo by Creighton Yost)
But it’s not a parade without a banner – here’s the banner that always leads this parade off:
(This photo and the subsequent three, by Mindon Win)
Also carrying a banner – the newly crowned 2010-2011 West Seattle Hi-Yu Junior Royalty:
Music provided by the Junior All-City Marching Band!
If you missed it this time around, remember the Kiddie Parade is right before the Grand Parade every year, and all kids are welcome to join in.
Before the 75-plus entries in today’s two-hour West Seattle Grand Parade rolled, roared, marched, glid and strolled down the route, they gathered at/around the starting line, which is California/Lander – unpacking, arranging, in some cases, even posing for photos (particularly the most famous of the entries, like JP Patches). On assignment for WSB, Edgar Riebe of West Seattle-based Captive Eye Media roamed around behind the scenes in the pre-parade hours – the video above is the result! ADDED EARLY SUNDAY: And from inside our electric car as the parade began, here’s the first minute (shot by WSB editor TR) as we got the go-ahead to start rolling:
One thing we noticed, riding in a vehicle for the first time – people yelled and waved as they saw the signs on the side of the car, not the banner on the front (so the audio you hear doesn’t synch with the video – we had the camera pointed forward most of that minute). Thanks again to everyone who came out to see the parade; our coverage – before, during, after – is in the WSB West Seattle Grand Parade archive, newest to oldest.
(Photo by Christopher Boffoli – Daffodil Festival wins 2 categories)
We will continue adding photos/video to this progressively – but in case anybody’s waiting eagerly for the info, West Seattle Grand Parade co-coordinator Dave Vague just sent the list of judges’ picks from today’s parade:
(WSB video by Tracy Record – All-City Band, overall #2, marching band #1)
1st Place __Daffodil Festival “Carousel of Spring”
2nd Place __Electronettes Jasslyn Diva’s Drill Team & Drum Squad
3rd Place __Seattle Schools All-City Marching Band
(Photo by Christopher Boffoli – Vancouver, B.C., PD, 1st place, motorcycles)
1st Place __Vancouver Police Motorcycle Drill Team
(Photo by Christopher Boffoli – All-City Band, overall #2, marching band #1)
(Photo by Steve Mohundro – PNW Drumline, 2nd place, marching bands)
(Photo by Christopher Boffoli – JFK HS, 3rd place, marching bands)
1st Place __Seattle Schools All-City Marching Band
2nd Place __Pacific NW Drumline
3rd Place __Kennedy Catholic High School Marching Band
(Photo by Christopher Boffoli – Seafair Clowns, 1st place, clowns/comics)
Clowns & Comics
1st Place __Seattle Seafair Clowns
2nd Place ___Ronald McDonald
3rd Place ___Keystone Kops
(Photo by Steve Mohundro – Lake City Western Vigilantes, performing acts, #1)
(Photo by Christopher Boffoli – Seafair Pirates, performing acts, #2)
(Photo by Christopher Boffoli – Evergreen Tang Soo Do, performing acts, #3)
1st Place ____Lake City Vigilantes
2nd Place ____Seattle Seafair Pirates
3rd Place ____Evergreen Tang Soo Do
(Photo by Christopher Boffoli – Sweet Mahogany, junior drill teams, #1)
Drill Teams – Jr. & Cheer Squads
1st Place _____Sweet Mahogany Drill Team
2nd Place ____Electronettes Pretty Girls Drill Team
3rd Place ____Super Steppers Marching Team
(Photo by Christopher Boffoli – Electronettes JDs, senior drill teams, #1)
Drill Teams – Sr.
1st Place ___Electronettes Jasslyn Diva’s Drill Team & Drum Squad
2nd Place ___Chinese Community Girls Drill Team
(Photo by Christopher Boffoli – JP Patches, commercial, #2)
1st Place _____Daystar Retirement Village
2nd Place ____Bill & Cynthia Reid/John L Scott Westwood & JP Patches
3rd Place ____Hadlock’s Towing
(Photo by Christopher Boffoli, OLG, community, #1)
1st Place ___Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish & School
2nd Place ___Girl Scouts Chinook Service Unit #550
3rd Place ___WS Friend to Friend Volunteer Program
(Photo by Christopher Boffoli -LRFD, antique cars, #1)
Cars & Antique Cars
1st Place ____Last Resort Fire Department
2nd Place ___Lincoln Towing’s “Pink Toe Truck”
3rd Place ___Senior Center of West Seattle
(Photo by Christopher Boffoli -Marysville float, #2 in its category)
Floats – Motorized
1st Place (Legion Trophy) __Daffodil Festival “Carousel of Spring”
2nd Place (Alki Trophy) ___Marysville Strawberry Festival
(WSB video by Tracy Record)
Floats – Conveyed
1st Place (Festival Trophy)___Holy Rosary West Fest
2nd Place (Marshals Trophy)___ West Seattle Sportsmen’s Club
Dave notes that some regular entrants – Seattle Police and Fire, and West Seattle Hi-Yu – ask to be excluded from the judging (just in case you’re wondering why you don’t see them in the list). More parade coverage to come!
(Photo by Christopher Boffoli, substituted 3:17 pm for previous Twitpic by @zenbard)
The streets are reopening – now that the West Seattle Grand Parade is over for another year. We had a blast riding in the Neighborhood Electric Vehicle (NEV) loaned to us by MC Electric Vehicles (which is on the south side of downtown, by Goodwill) – it’s more traditional to ride in a convertible, but we wanted something electric-powered for the occasion! Got to watch most of the parade since we were the fifth entry out and done before the other 70-plus; will add a few photos shortly, with much more coverage to come a bit later. Our favorite iPhone photo taken just before it began – that’s the U.S. Coast Guard flyover, with the Color Guard and Post 160 Commander Chris Shea in the foreground:
And here’s a closer look at the chopper itself:
(Photo by Christopher Boffoli)
Thanks to everybody who waved and yelled along the way – as the sign on the back of our vehicle read, “Thank YOU for being part of WSB” – !!! (And thanks to parade-presenting American Legion Post 160 for honoring WSB with the Orville Rummel Trophy – from what we learned about the other recipients while researching the story we published this morning, it’s awesome company.)
On California SW by the Admiral Safeway parking lot, Holy Rosary School volunteers were putting flowers on their WestFest entry for the West Seattle Grand Parade, which starts at 11 am. Not far away, this bubble-breathing dragon is getting ready for its star turn – we won’t spoil the surprise by showing you who’s towing it:
We got here just after 9, convoying with the mystery vehicle we’ll ride in the parade – spotted staked-out spots outside ArtsWest in The Junction along the way (and more than a few in other areas, including some whose “owners” were already in place):
Back up here at parade-start central, the Seafair parade marshals – more than 30 of them – are helping American Legion Post 160‘s Grand Parade coordinators get everybody arranged:
One of our later reports will have more behind-the-scenes glimpses; we have photojournalist Edgar Riebe here covering that side of the parade-day story; photojournalist Christopher Boffoli will be along the route to cover the parade itself. See our earlier previews (all archived here) for info on the route and times and some of who you’ll see – the action all starts at 11 am, though the motorcycle drill teams (Seattle followed by Vancouver, B.C.) scheduled to go down the route a bit sooner, so you’ll definitely want to be in place by 10:30; even The Junction, end of the line, will see parading soon after 11, since the Rotary Club of West Seattle-presented Kiddie Parade will travel south from California/Genesee at that point. Not sure if we’ll add more pre-parade pix here – but you can definitely watch our @westseattleblog Twitter feed (even if you’re not a Twitter member) for photos we’ll “tweet” before and during.
View West Seattle Grand Parade route in a larger map
The green markers bookend the route the West Seattle Grand Parade will take down California SW starting at 11 am from SW Lander; the periwinkle marker, the starting point for the Rotary Club of West Seattle-presented Kiddie Parade that precedes it, same time (but signups start at 10, all kids welcome). Parade co-coordinator Jim Edwards says (via @WSParade on Twitter) that they’re now up to 78 entries. Motorcycles, marching musicians, drill teams, clowns, pirates, singers, dancers, politicians, Scouts, schools, businesses, churches, and of course, floats, including the multiple-award-winning West Seattle Hi-Yu “Dreams Do Come True” float. We’ve published seven previews in the past few days; browse them here. And if you have photos/video to share afterward, let us know! (You can also add your favorite pics to the West Seattle Blog group on Flickr.) P.S. Remember California SW from Admiral south to Edmunds is closed till after the parade; there are bus detours and also parking restrictions on some side streets being used for staging. Another big event today is happening at the beach:
(WSB photo from 2007 Alki Art Fair)
Today’s the first of two days for the big Alki Art Fair, stretching along the promenade past the Alki Bathhouse, 10 am-6 pm both days. In addition to the artists’ displays and booths, which are free to browse, you may want to bring some money for the food booths and the kids’ bouncy toy. Here’s our preview from earlier in the week, including the full schedule and lineup for live music both days. Then tonight in The Junction, it’s movie time!
That’s the courtyard at Hotwire Online Coffeehouse (WSB sponsor) before it finished filling up (and then some!) for last Saturday’s first-of-the-season West Seattle Outdoor Movies presentation. Tonight, along with our co-sponsors Skylark Café and Club, Nicholson Kovalchick Architects and Pagliacci Pizza, we co-sponsor “War Games,” with Skylark proprietor Jessie SK leading a round of ’80s trivia (we’re bringing the prizes) before the movie. You’ll want to arrive early (a few dozen people were there as early as 5:30 last week, Hotwire’s Lora Lewis tells us) to stake out your spot!
What else is up today/tonight? See the full list in the West Seattle Weekend Lineup!
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
In this morning’s West Seattle Grand Parade, your WSB co-publishers will be proudly carrying the Orville Rummel Trophy for Outstanding Service to the Community, bestowed by parade-sponsoring American Legion Post 160. It’s been awarded annually since 1984:
When parade organizers shared the news, they also observed that aside from the trophy itself, which each recipient gets to keep till the following summer, there wasn’t much written history about it. So we set out to see if we could take a swing at starting to change that.
Orville Rummel founded the parade back in 1934. The photo at left is from a framed, crinkled-but-treasured copy of the front page of what the logo declared to be the “West Seattle Herald Incorporating The West Seattle News,” published at the start of the Hi-Yu Festival, that same year. It hangs on the north wall of the American Legion Post 160 Hall in The Triangle; Rummel was the post’s commander, and chair of the Hi-Yu Committee, in 1934. Unfortunately, he’s not still around to tell his stories; online records show he died in Kitsap County right about Hi-Yu time in 1998 – July 16, to be exact – just a few weeks short of what would have been his 99th birthday.
Back in Orville Rummel’s heyday, the Legion stopped running Hi-Yu after a few years; it resumed as an independent effort in 1949, though Post 160 remains a Hi-Yu trustee.
Ahead, the list of a quarter-century-plus of winners. And then – we check in with two of the longtime West Seattle businesspeople who’ve been honored with the Orville Rummel Trophy. Click to read the rest of West Seattle Grand Parade sneak peek #7: Orville Rummel Trophy…
Just confirmed with the Seattle Seafair Clowns‘ own “Officer Lumpy” – a West Seattleite – that this year’s “Prince of Mirth” will be with them tomorrow in the American Legion Post 160-presented West Seattle Grand Parade. The Prince is a Duke – none other than local restaurateur Duke Moscrip, of Duke’s Chowder House fame. This year, as the Seafair Clowns’ announcement points out, Duke has been a Seafair hero, helping bail out first the hydro races and then the Seafair Pirates’ Landing (WSB coverage here). Last year, TV personality Jim Dever rode with them.
Tomorrow’s parade starts at 11 am from California/Lander in the Admiral District and continues south to California/Edmunds in The Junction. Any and all West Seattle kids are also invited to join in the Rotary Club of West Seattle-presented Kiddie Parade, leaving California/Genesee at 11 ahead of the main parade (with time to get back to your seat!). To see our previous previews – and coverage of previous years – check out the WSB West Seattle Grand Parade coverage archive (in reverse-chronological order).
(WSB photo from July 2008 at California/Lander, where the West Seattle Grand Parade begins)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Everybody loves a parade, it’s been said.
All you have to do is stake out your spot on the route, and it unfolds right in front of you – the honor guard, the bands, the drill teams, the floats, the royalty, the sign-wavers, the clowns … In all, more than 75 entries will travel California SW from the Admiral District to the south end of The Junction tomorrow morning (here’s the map), starting at 11 am, right after the Rotary Club of West Seattle-sponsored Kiddie Parade (all kids can join in!) strolls and rolls down the route from Genesee south.
But the West Seattle Grand Parade doesn’t just happen, much as co-coordinator Jim Edwards would try to have you believe otherwise. “It’s a juggernaut now,” he insists. “It would happen with or without us.”
He commented Monday night during a small but pivotal gathering that happens each year before the parade: The lineup meeting. At American Legion Post 160 in The Triangle – the organization that presents the parade every year (not Hi-Yu, though they’re an important participant every year) – Jim, co-coordinator Dave Vague, and parade chair Walt DeLong took two hours to finalize the parade running order.
Just two days till the American Legion Post 160-presented West Seattle Grand Parade rolls, marches, dances and glides down California SW from the Admiral District to The Junction. In the video above, we ask this year’s Grand Marshals, radio-turned-webcast personalities Marty Riemer and Jodi Brothers (both West Seattleites), to demonstrate the “parade wave” – and of course, the discussion veers off course. (Hopefully their parade-day convertible won’t.) More than 75 entries are set for the annual tradition, starting at 11 am – just pick a spot along the route, from the north edge of Hiawatha southward:
View West Seattle Grand Parade route in a larger map
The purple-blue marker along the route is SW Genesee, starting point for the Rotary Club of West Seattle-presented Kiddie Parade, which all kids are invited to enter – signups start at 10 am Saturday, and the parade proceeds through The Junction right at 11, ahead of the rest of the parade (so there’s time to get back to your seat and watch everybody else!). Still more parade “sneak peeks” ahead between now and Saturday morning.
When you watch the Seattle Police Motorcycle Drill Team during the American Legion Post 160-presented West Seattle Grand Parade this Saturday, here’s something you might not realize: There are West Seattleites on the team! Cynthia shares this photo of Rob Blanco (left) and Drill Master John Bernasconi. As usual, the SPD motorcycles will be at the head of the parade – after the Rotary Club of West Seattle Kiddie Parade, and before the Vancouver, B.C., motorcycle squad – which starts at 11 am this Saturday. The parade route is along California SW from SW Lander (by Lafayette/Safeway) to SW Edmunds (end of the main Junction business district) – note that several side streets are part of the staging areas, with No Parking signs having been up for days now, and some buses will be rerouted that morning and part of the afternoon, too.
(WSB photo from July 2009)
While at American Legion Post 160 in The Triangle last night to sit in on the West Seattle Grand Parade lineup meeting, we were glad to hear that Art and Gloria Peters will be back for another year, riding in the parade. Our “behind the scenes” parade-planning story isn’t ready to publish just yet but there’s certainly still lots more to preview as Saturday’s parade (11 am, California/Lander to California/Edmunds) gets closer. The long-wed veterans are among the heroes, if you will, among the 75-plus parade entries. That category also includes the law-enforcement motorcycle drill teams – both the hometown heroes from Seattle PD, and the visitors from Vancouver, B.C.:
And unless there’s a last-minute emergency, you’ll see a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter like this one fly south over the parade route right around 11:
(July 2009 photo by Christopher Boffoli)
Again, the parade starts at 11 am this Saturday – and while the official route is California SW between SW Lander (Lafayette/Safeway) and SW Edmunds (end of The Junction’s main business district), you’ve probably noticed “no parking” signs on more than a few other streets – the parade staging zone, and bus re-routes, cover many more blocks. One more reminder – All kids are welcome in the Rotary Club of West Seattle Kiddie Parade, which travels California SW from SW Genesee to SW Edmunds right before the main parade, starting at 11 am (sign-ups at 10).
Seattle’s most famous clown, JP Patches – who was at the Westwood Village Street Fair in May (where Karen took the above photo) – is scheduled to be in the West Seattle Grand Parade (yes, the one many still call the Hi-Yu Parade) this Saturday (minus pugs). That’s part of what we can tell you after sitting in tonight on the parade-lineup session at American Legion Post 160, which puts on the annual event. Bill and Cynthia Reid from John L. Scott are bringing him to the parade as they’ve done in many years past. The lineup of more than 75 entries includes other traditional favorites – like the Seafair Pirates and Seattle All-City Band – will be there too; and for the first time in at least five years, according to parade co-coordinator Jim Edwards, the Daffodil Festival float will be up from Pierce County (but can it hold a candle to the award-winning West Seattle Hi-Yu float?). New this year: The Pacific Northwest Drumline. And this year, no matter where you are along the parade route (California/Lander to California/Edmunds) at the official 11 am start time, you should see something – the Rotary Club of West Seattle Kiddie Parade is scheduled to start from California/Genesee at 11 (instead of earlier as in years past; by the way, all kids welcome!) – by then, the Seattle Police Motorcycle Drill Team and Vancouver (B.C.) Police Motorcycle Drill Team will be at various points further north on the route, and then the rest of the parade will commence from California/Lander with the color guard right at 11, plus a U.S. Coast Guard flyover scheduled right over the California SW (if no emergencies call the chopper away) parade route. Grand Marshals this year: West Seattle-residing radio/online personalities Marty Riemer and Jodi Brothers. So what does it take for Jim, co-coordinator Dave Vague, and parade chair Walt DeLong to put the parade together? That’s part of our next parade preview tomorrow!
(July 2009 photo by Christopher Boffoli)
Exactly one month till one of the biggest events of the summer — the West Seattle American Legion Post 160 Grand Parade, coming up on July 24th. (A kickoff reminder once again this year, that’s the parade’s official name, not the “Hi-Yu Parade,” though the West Seattle Hi-Yu Summer Festival float and royalty will be one of its highlights!) The U.S. Coast Guard helicopter flyover will precede the parade again this year, according to Jim Edwards, if some urgent duty doesn’t preclude its appearance. The parade starts at 11 am from California/Lander and travels down California to Edmunds at the end of the main Junction business district – and while planning is well into the final stages, there’s one big need: Do you perhaps have a convertible for the American Legion Post 160 Commander to ride in? This year they’ve got all the convertibles covered, so to speak, except his. If you can provide a convertible for the parade, contact parade co-coordinator Dave Vague at firstname.lastname@example.org – just think, your car will be seen by thousands!
(July 2009 West Seattle Grand Parade photo by Patrick Sand)
That’s just one of many scenes from last year’s West Seattle American Legion Post 160 Grand Parade (its official name, not “Hi-Yu Parade” though the West Seattle Hi-Yu contingent is a popular participant!). This year’s edition is coming up July 24, from California/Lander to California/Edmunds as usual, and, also as usual, it’s a massive volunteer undertaking, as are most if not all of the other community parades around Seattle. And since it’s a free event, its organizers don’t exactly have a big pot of money on which to draw for expenses – which is why a recent announcement sparked so much concern: The city had recently started notifying parades that effective immediately, they would have to pick up the cost for no-parking signs and other standard trappings.
We heard about this from local organizers, and checked with SDOT. Communications director Rick Sheridan replied:
Based on the significant budget shortfall that the city is facing in this and future years, SDOT is reviewing all of its programs. In an era of tight budgets, SDOT believes it needs to carefully focus its limited resources. In previous years, the department placed traffic controls signs for community events and the city covered the expense. This year SDOT proposed that events needing these services should be responsible for covering the costs.
However, based on concerns raised by organizers of several community events about their ability to cover these costs on short notice, SDOT has reconsidered this decision for 2010. Program cuts for this year will not include reductions in event support and we will look for alternative midyear reductions.
But, Sheridan went on to say, this plan WILL be in next year’s budget. So here’s the challenge for the West Seattle parade and others: WS Parade Coordinator Jim Edwards explains they are stuck in a conundrum. Just charge entries a little more to cover the cost, you say? Problem is, they cannot charge for entries at all, without sharply raising their costs: Edwards explains that any parade charging for entries has to pay five times the permit fee of those that don’t.
The West Seattle parade usually gets a few monetary donations, which help cover costs, but otherwise, because of the permit prerequisite, everyone who enters the parade – and watches the parade – does so for free.
(July 2009 West Seattle Grand Parade photo by Christopher Boffoli)
Edwards says parade organizers would like to have the right to charge a fee to entries that use the parade as a marketing opportunity – commercial and political entries – without Post 160 having to pay for a costlier permit. If the rules were changed to allow that, it would help them cover what they expect will be at least a $1,500 added cost for the signage next year, if the new SDOT plan goes through.
It’s not that the parade’s been draining resources over the years without compensating the city at all; Edwards explains that the West Seattle parade already participates in the city’s “cost recovery” process, and has taken steps over the years to use fewer city resources: “Our original permit costs were upward of $1,500. But because we have a good community who cleans up the roadway at the end of the parade, our costs steadily decreased over the years. We reduced costs further by downsizing crowd estimates slightly as well. We further cut costs at the request of (police) by moving the parade south of Admiral Way.”
(Photo from July 2009 parade by Tracy Record)
The “cost recovery” process, he says, had been multidepartmental on the city side – but now with SDOT’s announcement, he wonders, “Are we now going to have each department instituting its own cost recovery process? Our parade is 1.5 miles. If you include assembly, dispersal, Metro bypasses, Emergency routes. We have signage on about 3.5 miles of roadway…. Our costs will be much higher than say the 2-block-long Magnolia parade.”
So for now, it’s on with this year’s parade as usual, but American Legion Post 160 and those who run Seattle’s other remaining community parades will be watching the city-budget process, to see how this shakes out.
“Knowing that this increased cost may be a possibility next year doesn’t make it any easier to pay, but at least we have time to figure out how,” Edwards says. “It would be our hope that the Special Events Committee makes changes to the rules and allows the community parades to charge a small fee to commercial and political entries in the parade, while still maintaining the free status to everyone else. … I would also hope that the portion of the permit that is (already) considered SDOT costs, (then) be removed from the permit fee. These fees were established under what the city called a cost-recovery program some 15 years ago or so. It was determined that we needed to pick up some of the costs that the city departments incurred from all these parades, hence the massive increase in permit costs.”
That’s video of Dow Constantine, King County Council Chair, King County Executive candidate and West Seattleite, marching with supporters in Saturday’s West Seattle Grand Parade (and giving WSB a shoutout after spotting us on the sidelines). With by-mail voting about two weeks away for the August primary, you’ll even find non-West Seattle-dwelling politicians almost anywhere a crowd gathers – the City Council‘s president (who’s up for re-election this year) was in the parade too – Richard Conlin and supporters were seen here in the staging area south of Lafayette Elementary:
Other sightings included Conlin’s opponent, High Point resident David Ginsberg, later down the parade route:
And we saw two other council candidates pre-parade, Dorsol Plants and Rusty Williams. Not in the parade but seen working the sidelines, two mayoral candidates – James Donaldson and Mike McGinn, who talked to spectators and handed out “Mike Bikes” stickers:
No sighting of Mayor Nickels himself – though we know that earlier in the day, he helped open the new Sound Transit Light Rail line. Speaking of transportation, Ron Richardson shares this photo of Port Commission hopeful Max Vekich‘s parade visit:
Meantime, King County Assessor candidate Lloyd Hara and supporters stopped to pose:
Acting assessor Rich Medved was scheduled to march in the parade but suffered a stroke last Tuesday and remains in the hospital. Meanwhile, not all politicians in the parade were running for something – both of West Seattle’s State House reps were spotted – here’s Rep. Eileen Cody:
Keep an eye on the WSB Politics archive for all the latest; we also have an archive for the West Seattle Grand Parade, where you’ll find all our other stories on Saturday’s extravaganza. And we’re not done with Saturday reports yet …
If you were at today’s West Seattle Grand Parade, you couldn’t miss the bright yellow banner, or the school bus:
The WestSide Baby contingent rolled, strolled and walked down California not only for the fun of it, but also to remind everyone about the organization’s biggest event of the year, coming up TOMORROW: Stuff the Bus. Buy disposable diapers (smaller sizes are most in demand) and take them to the bus at West Seattle Farmers’ Market, 10 am-2 pm tomorrow, and help WestSide Baby help thousands of West Seattle and White Center-area families in need (a bigger demand this summer than ever before). WSB is proud to be one of this year’s co-sponsors, and we’ll be publishing “live” updates during the event. See you there! (P.S. Still more parade-photo collections to come later tonight – meantime, scroll down the main page to see the ones we’ve already published.)
As our West Seattle Grand Parade coverage continues – that’s the West Seattle Hi-Yu Festival contingent, from the award-winning “How Sweet It Is” float to this year’s Senior Court candidates (coronation 7 pm Monday at West Seattle High School, be there) to this year’s button designer. Other crowd-pleasers – of course, the Seafair Pirates (cover your ears!):
Perhaps the warmest welcome of the day was showered onto J.P. Patches, the beloved clown/TV host who returned to the West Seattle Grand Parade (courtesy of Bill and Cynthia Reid of John L. Scott in Westwood) after a year away, now that he’s feeling up to it:
That photo is by WSB photojournalist Christopher Boffoli, as is this one of comedian/broadcaster Pat Cashman, who as King Neptune presides over all the Seafair festivities this year (and was just here in West Seattle last weekend for the Seafair Pirates’ Landing at Alki):
We mentioned the Seafair Clowns earlier, in our sidelines/behind the scenes report – we have video of them too:
More later – including more of the West Seattle community groups that turned out in force to strut their stuff, as well as the politicians who represented both in the parade and on the sidelines, and a closer look at paradegoers. And again, we have two photo galleries you can check out via Flickr – Christopher’s photo set here, and the West Seattle Blog group here (if you have parade photos, please consider joining the group to share some of ‘em)!
(West Seattle Sportsmen’s Club won the “Festival Trophy” in the Conveyed Float category)
ORIGINAL 5:14 PM SATURDAY REPORT: We will dress this up later with more images of the winners – still tons of photos and video to share – but we just got the list of West Seattle Grand Parade winners in from American Legion Post 160′s Dave Vague, and in case you were waiting to hear, we’re publishing it for starters in raw cut-paste format – read on for the winners in each category: (NOTE: NOW UPDATED WITH PHOTOS) Click to read the rest of West Seattle Grand Parade wrapup report #3: The winners!…
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