Complete notes from The Parade

Maybe next year we’ll live-blog it (or live-vlog it?) just for fun. Sadly, we’re not wireless-Internet-enabled just yet. Here are the highlights from our analog notes:

9:30 am … mega-early arrival to snag a good spot. The block south of The Heart of the Junction is already fairly heavily staked out, so we head north a bit, not too far past the PA truck.

9:39 am … first sighting of guy in Seafair garb (captain’s hat, etc.)

9:42 am … PA test. Our parade escort is reading the ArtsWest marquee to us. We’ve now memorized ArtsWest’s phone number, after hearing it about a dozen times.

9:45 am … Heading south on the semi-closed Ave, a couple trucks that brought floats … Kent Cornucopia Days and Marysville Strawberry Festival.

10 am … Are they ever going to come pick up the no-parking signs? Most years they have, by now. (note: they never did … city crew cutback, maybe?)

10:05 am … A marching-band straggler goes by, drum affixed to his midsection.

10:08 am … First vendor sighting: Parade beads!

10:09 am … First clown sighting. Someone freelance riding a bike up and down the street.

10:15 am … The kids’ parade starts passing by. Lots of cuties. Many are armed with bags of candy and trying to find kids on the sidelines to give it to, but it seems that most of the kids who WILL be on the sidelines later, are currently IN the kids’ parade.

10:35 am … Ducked into Cupcake Royale for a drink. Painfully slow service. Almost no one in there, just a couple people ahead of us, three people behind the counter, all moving as if in slow motion. Strange.

11 am … OK, up the street, it’s begun. Nice weather still — high puffy clouds, bit of a breeze.

11:20 am … The turnout is starting to look respectable. Some people actually put their chairs BEHIND ours. That’s what we like to see. Next year, perhaps organizers can put banners on the Fauntleroy overpass, “Parade This Saturday.” Heck, if the “Stuff the Bus” drive (which was represented in the kids’ parade) can have banners, why not the parade?

11:20:30 am … The Seattle PD motorcycles in view (and audible) in the next block! Woo-hoo!

From there, no time references. Highlights — not every parade participant, just the ones we took notes about:
*Best maneuver by Seattle PD motorbikers: Their weave. And as they pass inches from the curb, you can feel the heat of their bikes’ exhaust. Love the white gloves.
*Vancouver PD motorbikers are awesome as always. Here’s something you don’t even get in the Torchlight Parade. The “one rider vs. the others” maneuvers (heaven only knows what they’re officially called) are particularly breathtaking. The Seattle PD officers are already off their bikes and standing on the east side of The Heart of The Junction near the PA truck, watching their northern counterparts, giving thumbs up, salutes, etc. Fun to watch that.

*The color guard passes. Lots of people stand. Yay. The VFW contingent includes a young-ish guy on a bicycle with a hand-lettered “join now” sign and a phone number. Our escort does not get the chance to read that one aloud.

*Hi-Yu float. Yay! “Dancing in the Rain” is this year’s theme. Our escort thinks someone in the court on the float may be an acquaintance. This is a first.

*Ronald McDonald on a Segway, trailed by an Element. Queasy memories of our first job (mumble mumble) years ago, at a McD’s in another city, ensue.

*Art & Gloria, WWII/Korea veterans, “still married” and “Art’s 80 today”! Rock on.

*All-City Marching Band! New banner! Love those kids.

*Buses full of folks from the retirement homes. We don’t wave much during parades but these folks are waving to us and they need some props.

*Speaking of seniors with spirit, a car carries a couple of “West Seattle Red Hatters.” Red hats and purple outfits. All older ladies deserve to have that much fun.

*Squatch draws mixed reaction. Our escort yells, “Go ahead and go to Oklahoma, you rich tycoon creeps!” We try to explain that Clay Bennett is nowhere in sight.

*Dow Constantine gets a little lost behind a drill team. We applaud him anyway.

*Vancouver B.C. Firefighters’ Band — that’s new, we think. Wow, between them and the motorcycle drill team, who’s keeping an eye on Van today?

*JP Patches with Bill and Cynthia Reid in a silver Mercedes!

*Dance team behind a big yellow City Light truck. Makes us think of winter power outages to come.

*West Seattle Yacht Club — didn’t know we had one. The guy sitting in a powerboat being towed by an antique car is reading a nautical map. Nice touch.

*Chinese Community Girls’ Drill Team. These gals are always pure pro, down to the synchronized somber facial expressions. Impressive show there in the intersection by the PA truck.

*The three-tier rotating shortcake on the Marysville Strawberry Fest looks good. We send the escort back into Cupcake Royale for a snack.

*Sumner marching band — excellent flag show.

*Shriner mini-bikers in helmets instead of customary fezzes. Had to explain to escort, that’s the law.

*34th District Democrats followed by the legislative team. At least, we think all three of them were there. Don’t know their faces. Our suggestion: In the future, wear shirts saying something like “I’M ERIK,” “I’M EILEEN,” “I’M JOE.” Otherwise, we don’t know who to give “thumbs up” to.

*Not sure exactly how we feel about the big Henry Weinhard bottle on the faux dead-tree trailer.

*JFK marching band from Burien following the beer truck. Traditional costumes. Bandleader’s even wearing a cape.

*We can hear the Seafair Pirates’ cannon!

*Last Resort fire trucks just before the Pirates. TV cameraman working our section of the sidelines. Our escort waves madly in hopes of his 15 seconds of fame.

*Ka-boom! Here are the pirates. Lots of sword-scraping for the kids on both sides of us. We get one of those silver tokens with the Iron Horse Casino ad on the back. Somebody behind us thinks the Pirates are the end of the parade. We think it was that way once upon a time, kind of like Santa Claus bringing up the rear of the holiday parade downtown.

*Seafair royalty. No more Miatas. Or did that end last year?

*Hope Lutheran picks up the pirate theme, with “Treasures of Christ” as its musical float/truck theme and, according to the flyerlets handed out on the sidelines, its Vacation Bible School theme.

*Pink flamingo folks hand out flyers too. $10 to have them put flamingos in someone’s yard for a day; that idea appeals to us until we read the fact that the flamingo-ees would only have to pay $20 to find out who did it.

*Rainbow City Band, playing “America the Beautiful.” Nice show of patriotism despite them being under constant threat of being officially discriminated against in our Constitution, if that amendment ever makes it through.

*The Viking Bank reps are the snazziest financial-services folks we’ve ever seen in this parade. As they trail out of sight, the sign behind them reads, “Trust a Viking with your money.” Not entirely sure, though, why they had a trailer with two ladies playing violins.

*As the parade ended, the lone Republican entry seemed a little sad, Mike McGavick banners. Don’t worry, folks, we’re sure you’ll get at least a dozen or so votes on this side of town.

*The WS Herald handed out free copies. Thanks! Although we’re a little hinked out by the pink flyer insert from the folks offering mobile health screenings for artery trouble. So what happens if you show up, get screened, and they discover something impendingly deadly? Ambulance on the spot?

*”Th-Th-That’s All, Folks” banner on the last vehicle in the parade, good addition, sometimes it’s hard to tell it’s over!

And with that … OVER? TILL NEXT YEAR? ALREADY? Well, at least we have the Torchlight Parade and the Blue Angels to look forward to …

8 Replies to "Complete notes from The Parade"

  • Mike July 23, 2006 (9:42 pm)

    Great recap! We started the day off early as well putting chairs out at 8:30 under a tree by Greentree Animal Clinic. We then put the finishing touches on the Kids “Hydro” / Wagons for the kids parade. Miss Pinkie won by a nose :-) I think we lucked out with the weather and the cloud cover. Cant wait til’ next year.

  • Keith July 24, 2006 (10:01 am)

    There were plenty of prime viewing spots still available when I walked up around 11 am. Wound up in front of Seattle Fish (across the street from where Miss Pinkie was parked!) and engaged in some funny color commentary with the guys who work there. First time I’d seen the parade, loved it! It’d be great to see more floats and bands.

  • Patrick Robinson July 24, 2006 (11:41 am)

    The Herald also handed out free candy, A copy of Summer Celebrations which is a guide to all the festivals from Ballard to Federal Way this summer and had a 3 month FREE subscription offer. Just in case you didn’t notice.

  • Administrator July 24, 2006 (6:42 pm)

    Bummer, we didn’t get the festivals guide, just the main paper, B Section, and that pink flyer. But thanks for the free paper anyway. We usually pick ours up each week at Thriftway.

  • Trevor F. Smith July 24, 2006 (7:10 pm)

    I posted a flickr set of my photos of the parade. Unfortunately I had to leave half way through, so the last half is missing.

  • Administrator July 24, 2006 (8:59 pm)

    Thanks for sharing the pix! Interesting view of what the crowd looks like closer to the start of the route — we’ve never watched from anywhere but the Junction. Gee, if we watched from the PCC parking lot, we could probably tailgate …

  • Keith July 26, 2006 (9:44 am)

    On a sad parade-related note, yesterday I noticed grafitti sprayed across the parade mural on the south wall of the post office.

  • Patrick Robinson August 4, 2006 (5:06 am)

    I’ll be happy to mail you a copy of the Summer Celebrations guide (it’s got all the festivals and schedules from Ballard to Federal Way (though honestly there’s only 45 days of summer left…just send me your address in an email and I will get it to you, free.

    You can pay the 50 cents for your copy of the Herald (thanks) or you can get home delivery for a pretty amazing price right now. It’s $26 for 15 months…normally $26 a year. So…for $1.41 a month you get the Herald delivered. If you want to subscribe call 932-6456.

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