West Seattle Grand Parade 2012, report #1: First look

(WSB pre-parade coverage is here; our report on the winners is here)

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).

10 Replies to "West Seattle Grand Parade 2012, report #1: First look"

  • Silly Goose July 21, 2012 (1:06 pm)

    We just got in from Monroe is the parade still going?

    • WSB July 21, 2012 (1:59 pm)

      I believe it’s done along the entire route … we’re about to pass The Junction to make sure.

  • Alki Resident July 21, 2012 (2:19 pm)

    The parade went off without a hitch and was bigger than usual I think with TONS of kids under five where we were in the Hiawatha area. I have to say I was dumbfounded as other parents as well to witness the Food Bank van in the parade had kids come up to the driver as he passed out stickers. We witnessed a little girl come out of nowhere and cross the street in front of the van from the west side of street and get stickers as well. No parent lagging behind her. The group of people near me gasped as we were bracing for tragedy to happen before our eyes had that van driver started driving again. I’ve never seen things being handed out by drivers before and this is so dangerous. A wind could pick up those stickers and send a kid under the van so quick and for the driver to see this happen is unlikely. I hope we never see this sort of practice ever again.

  • jissy July 21, 2012 (2:28 pm)

    Alki Res; Tell you what I was dumbfounded by — all the people who kept sitting on their arses instead of standing up as the American Flag was carried by. Shameful!

  • Alki Resident July 21, 2012 (3:18 pm)

    Jissy-I saw that too nor did they take off their hats. Kids aren’t saying the pledge in school anymore either. Ask a kid today what the pledge is and they’ll go get the dusting spray,pathetic.

  • Westgirl July 21, 2012 (3:20 pm)

    We had a great time at the parade! My daughter couldn’t stop talking about the pirates (although she was afraid of the cannon). Thanks to everyone who participated!

  • timeslid July 21, 2012 (3:42 pm)

    Love the parade. Don’t like to gripe but the horde of balloons that were being given out by a not to be named candidate seemed to fly to the sky faster than a flock of pigeons startled by a dog. Poor choice of campaign advertising, really poor.

  • MercyMoi July 21, 2012 (9:39 pm)

    I’m not sure if the lag time between parade features shortened or what, but I had a much better time this year compared to last year! Thank you to everyone who makes this parade happen! It’s such a fun way for the community to come together.

  • BMC July 21, 2012 (10:37 pm)

    Loved the parade and so did my little kids. I thought the KeyStone Kops (?) were a little dated in doing the pretend shooting on the street. Some kids were confused and I know we are all tired of violence. I know, I know – its all in fun and they support a good cause – just my impression at the time.

  • gina July 22, 2012 (2:23 pm)

    Sitting while the flag goes by may be the new normal.


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