4 DAYS AWAY: West Seattle Grand Parade 2016 countdown begins

July 19, 2016 3:46 pm
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 |   West Seattle Grand Parade | West Seattle news

(WSB photo, 2015 West Seattle Grand Parade)

One reason to go to the West Seattle Grand Parade this Saturday: It’s the ONLY parade in Puget Sound where you’ll see the Vancouver, B.C. Motorcycle Drill Team.

That’s part of the parade info we confirmed while sitting in on the annual lineup meeting last night with Jim Edwards, Dave Vague, and Doreen Vague. Every year, the week before the parade, they meet to review printed information about the entries and to arrange them in an order that makes sense for maximum enjoyment. You wouldn’t want to put two marching bands back-to-back, for example. Speaking of which – you’ll see the excellent All-City Marching Band, led by longtime director and newly appointed Denny International Middle School assistant principal Marcus Pimpleton, as well as Kennedy Catholic High School‘s band and the PNW Drumline:

This year’s parade has 70+ entries – fewer than last year largely because of a calendar quirk – July has five Saturdays this year; this parade is usually the third Saturday, not the fourth. But you’ll have many returnees to cheer for, including Joyas Mestizas:

The parade’s official starting time is 11 am from the north end of the route at California/Lander – but the motorcycle drill teams start before then (as early as 10:30 am). You can pick a spot anywhere along California; the route ends at Edmunds on the south edge of The Junction; keep in mind there’s still a lot of construction, especially south of Admiral, so you might want to scope out your ideal spot ahead of time. The Grand Parade is presented by the West Seattle Rotary Club Service Foundation, and it’s an official Seafair-sanctioned event, so you’ll see Seafair parade marshals helping local volunteers, as well as Seafair parade favorites including the Pirates and Clowns.

Also remember two special events before the parade – you might even want to participate in one if that’s not already part of your plan: The Float Dodger 5K takes off from Hiawatha Playfield, near the start of the parade route, at 9:30 am – register now, or go to West Seattle Runner (5K presenter and WSB sponsor) to sign up in person before Saturday – details are in our most-recent preview. Then at 10 am, West Seattle kids are invited to walk, ride, or roll in the Kiddie Parade, which goes south on California from Genesee to Edmunds. Our countdown continues tomorrow!

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