YOU CAN HELP! Shape West Seattle Hi-Yu’s future

DSC04179 (1)
(Hi-Yu float and Junior Court Princess Sara in last Saturday’s West Seattle Grand Parade. Photo by Don Brubeck)

7:23 PM: Minutes from now, around 7:30 pm, the Seafair Torchlight Parade begins downtown, and the West Seattle Hi-Yu float will be rolling southbound on 4th with 100+ other floats, marching bands, drill teams, dignitaries, and other parade entries. Because of volunteer-powered Hi-Yu, West Seattle is the only neighborhood in the city that still has a traveling parade float. Even as our community changes, it’s a bridge between the past and the future – with the latter represented by the ambassador and royalty programs for kids of all ages, girls and boys, to build confidence through public appearances. Can you help this tradition continue? From Gloria Teves of Hi-Yu:

West Seattle Hi-Yu Invites You to Its August Meeting

If you enjoyed seeing the Teen Ambassadors at the start of the Float Dodger 5K, and Hi-Yu Royalty on the “Around West Seattle”-themed float last Saturday during the West Seattle Rotary-presented Grand Parade and thought “That’s so cool – how do I get involved?” – come join us at our general meeting on Monday, August 1 at 7:00 pm at Admiral Congregational Church, 4320 SW Hill Street (in the North Admiral neighborhood). Meetings generally last about an hour and half.

This is our 2nd to last meeting of the fiscal year (our last meeting will be September 12). The agenda includes planning for the last 2 parades we will be participating in (Lake City and Issaquah Salmon Days), then we’ll begin a discussion about the future of Hi-Yu. If you are interested in helping Hi-Yu continue on into the future, come and let us know your thoughts. Hi-Yu doesn’t exist without its volunteers and generous donors and we need both to keep it going. If you’re retired and have lots of time available to share or if you’re a busy family with few hours to spare, we welcome everyone!

If you can’t make it to the meeting, but would like more information or provide comments about the future of Hi-Yu, find us on Facebook at or the website at

Hi-Yu is in its ninth decade, founded in 1934.

ADDED 8:35 PM: Thanks to Mike Jensen for this photo of the Hi-Yu float in tonight’s parade – where he reports it’s won the Seafair Royalty Award!

A photo posted by Mike Jensen (@mjtwit) on

10 Replies to "YOU CAN HELP! Shape West Seattle Hi-Yu's future"

  • NW July 30, 2016 (8:20 pm)

    If this tradition is lacking participation maybe it’s a sign of what didn’t work I can recall being on a metro bus a few years back after the torchlight and a woman from the east coast was talking with another person how disengaged the in her words the locals of Seattle were towards the parade. Comparing what folks were like in her neighborhood being very excited and involved, pumped up!  I was last week at the parade in the international district which is heavily attended from people all over the city and region aswell as those in the parade and did notice the float. I noticed as I have since hearing the woman talk on the bus that few folks larger majority were not clapping as the parade went by almost zero engagement or acknowledgement I also recall her being from the east coast mentioning how the people watching the parade in her home town was that of excitement and lots of encouragement . I will say this that a person involved with the group was walking alongside the float representing West Seattle waving smiling and shaking hands of people creating engagement, community.  Do we know how to do parades in the NW as audiences and those in it? 

    • WSB July 30, 2016 (8:39 pm)

      It’s a good question!

      P.S. I’ve just added to the story – congratulations to Hi-Yu for winning an award in tonight’s Seafair Torchlight Parade – not an easy thing to do, with lots of competition from all over the region!

  • Anne July 30, 2016 (9:57 pm)

    Seattle has had a long tradition of parades – growing up here in the 50’s nearly every community had a parade during Seafair- all very well attended – lots of drill teams & floats. The West Seattle “Hi-Yu” parade was always packed.But back then Seafair was a BIG deal-over the last few years I’ve seen fewer & fewer participants & attendees. Last weeks parade was the leanest ever- when it ended we all said/ is that it?Don’t really know what the problem is- seems like a general lack of interest which is sad.

    • WSB July 30, 2016 (10:44 pm)

      Just to be clear: Hi-Yu does not produce the West Seattle Grand Parade, and has not for many years. Currently it is a production of the West Seattle Rotary Club. Hi-Yu is a participant. That said, as we mentioned in our parade coverage, last week had some conflicts because this is a five-Saturday July. There were 75 entries, but because of a conflict with Renton, for example, the Chinese Community Girls Drill Team wasn’t in the West Seattle parade. Some West Seattle community groups that had been regulars in recent years chose not to participate this year. I’m hoping that organizers will put out a call for participants next year, so that some organizations and businesses who might not realize it is open to applications will consider participating. = TR

  • Anne July 30, 2016 (10:55 pm)

    Right- it’s not the Hi-Yu parade anymore – but this old timer still calls it that- just like I call the parking lot behind the Antique Mall Penny’s Parking lot. Hopefully there will be a renewed interest in participation by everyone. 

  • WS Hi-Yu Board Member July 31, 2016 (2:40 pm)

    This is exactly why we are inviting people to join us for our general meeting tomorrow evening  As an all volunteers program, Hi-Yu needs ideas and involvement to keep the program growing and improving!

  • Hollis July 31, 2016 (3:55 pm)

    These community parades are great and a long standing tradition here in the greater Seattle area. Its wonderful to see all the happy faces light up as the floats go by. I’m saddened by the fact that there are so few community floats anymore. If i’m not mistaken West Seattle’s float may have been the only one in the torchlight parade. I know Hi-Yu works hard to give the communities youth oppurtunities to get involved in reaching out to the people in the community with encouragement and generocity, and creates a environment that builds self confidence.  Lets all pitch in and help Hi-Yu continue to serve our community and its youth. I’m in!! 

  • Joanne Murray July 31, 2016 (4:36 pm)

    West Seattle Hi-Yu, Inc. is a non profit, all volunteer organization with a scholarship program for students that live in West Seattle from age 8 to 22 and is open to both boys and girls. The top female goes on to represent West Seattle in the Seafair Scholarship Program for Women the following year. This year our representative Kelly Jean Crum received a $500. scholarship from WS Hi-Yu and also a $500. scholarship from Swedish Hospital to use at Gonzaga Univ. this year. Last year she also received a $1,500. scholarship from Hi-Yu. Our new West Seattle Hi-Yu Queen Haley Beebe will also receive a $1,500. scholarship from Hi-Yu for her studies at Arizona State University where she will be studying this Fall. Each Jr. Court and Teen Ambassador will also receive scholarships to use for their continuing education in music, art, drama, sports, dance, etc. We have four on the Jr. court and four Teen Ambassadors this year. Donations toward the scholarships from individuals and from the buttons and water help but additional funds are needed for the West Seattle Hi-Yu traveling parade float if it is to continue in the future as the outreach from West Seattle to the other neighborhoods in Western WA.  The West Seattle Hi-Yu, Inc. needs volunteers and new leadership to continue next year.  The next meeting is Monday, Aug. 1st at 7 pm at the Admiral Congregational Church 4320 SW Hill St. at California Ave SW & SW Hill St. 3 blocks North of Admiral Way. The Sept. meeting will be to elect new officers for the 2016-2017 fiscal year on Tuesday Sept. 6th.  West Seattle Hi-Yu fiscal year is from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30. If no one steps up to volunteer it may be the end of this West Seattle Hi-Yu Summer Festival tradition that began in 1934 which will be a real loss for the community. Our sincere hope is that it will continue and thrive into the future.  Please step forward to volunteer. Check out the Facebook pages for westseattlehiyu and We hope to see you at the meetings. 

  • Gina July 31, 2016 (8:04 pm)

    You don’t have to be that much of an old timer to refer to the parade as the Hi-Yu parade. Heck, the Seafair Pirate website still did in 2015! 

    Seattle Times last referred to it that way back in 2010, and I think it was the American Legion parade by that point, officially.

    Seafair parade is now Alaska Airlines Seafair Torchlight Parade. But I’ll still call it the Torchlight Parade. 

  • dfjo August 1, 2016 (9:30 am)

    Thank you WS Rotary for producing this community parade. I’m happy to give credit where credit is due.

Sorry, comment time is over.