Summer’s not so far away: Hi-Yu float needs help, and a home

January 7, 2009 1:38 pm
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 |   How to help | West Seattle Hi-Yu Festival | West Seattle news

We mentioned West Seattle Hi-Yu Summer Festival‘s quest for a “new” float trailer last fall. That’s still a work in progress, and now the float needs a home too. Can you help? Here’s the latest, from Hi-Yu treasurer Kelly Mitchell:

Planning is underway for the 2009 parade season, so what’s next? The engine repairs completed at the end of last season will make it possible to keep the float running for the next 2 years while we raise funds and build a new float platform. With a few repairs to the frame and an upgrade to the sound system, it will be ready for this year’s many parades. The theme for the 2009 float has been chosen; it’s West Seattle Hi-Yu 75 Years ‘How Sweet It Is’. [as reported here last month] That being said, there are two critical issues to resolve.

This year’s parade season depends on obtaining a covered car trailer for the float. Our existing flatbed trailer has become too demanding and dangerous for the volunteers. We are consistently the last crew to leave a parade. Getting the float on the trailer requires a carefully followed procedure for bracing the trailer, driving the float up steep ramps, and securing it. Then the unwieldy tarp must be pulled over the float and secured for freeway-speed winds. This whole process takes about 1 ½ to 2 hours on a sunny day. At midnight and/or in the rain, it can take substantially longer. Our peers with covered vehicle trailers, drive in the float, secure it with a built-in system, and shut the door & leave. Unless we happen to have volunteers with trucking or equipment hauling experience, people have to be trained each year. The unpleasant hours that volunteers spend at this reduces the hours that we have available for coordinating community events.

We are planning to buy a new trailer similar to the one that the Leavenworth Autumn Leaf Festival purchased this year. Photo shows the trailer at the Seafair Torchlight Parade:


This 30′ extra-height vehicle trailer will cost about $12,000 and should last at least 20 years. We believe that is an obtainable goal this fall and winter, in addition to the annual memberships that we depend on for the festival’s annual scholarships and events.

Additionally, Harbor Properties is beginning construction on the site where we have been storing the float. Hi-Yu thanks them for graciously providing us with this space. Since we now need to vacate we will once again need a storage location. A covered trailer will provide many more storage options in, or close to, West Seattle, but until then we are looking for a new home for the float. To store the float we would require space in the dimensions of 30′ x 15′ and a larger space would accommodate the work activities that go into building the new items for this year’s theme. We are very excited to get started on this year’s float but we need your help and quick! If you have a space or know of anyone who may be able to help us or you want to help with this year’s construction, please contact Kelly Mitchell at or 206-932-0665.

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