(WSB file photos)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Just a few more days until hundreds of people comprising more than 70 entries will walk, roll, march, dance, and ride in the 2017 West Seattle Grand Parade, down California Avenue SW between The Admiral District and The Junction.
We sat in on the parade lineup meeting earlier this week and here are some of the highlights:
COMEBACKS: The Seattle Chinese Community Girls Drill Team, one of Seattle’s most popular parade performance groups, will be back this year. Last year, they marched in the Renton parade instead, and while that parade is on the same day this year, the group is coming back to West Seattle. Also returning after sitting out last year: Luna Park Café.
NEW: First-time entries include Camp Crockett (WSB sponsor).
TWO-WHEELIN’ IT: The Vancouver B.C. Police Motorcycle Drill Team will again make their only area appearance, following the Seattle Police Motorcycle Drill Team. The Shriners‘ mini-bike unit is joining the parade, too.
HUMAN-POWERED WHEELS: Participants include two roller-derby entries plus the Pathfinder K-8 Unicycles.
BOOM: Yes, of course the Seafair Pirates will “sail” down the parade route. Cannon and all.
FLOATING: Visiting floats will include the Daffodil Festival (Pierce County) and Strawberry Festival (Snohomish County) floats and Fathoms O’Fun from Port Orchard, right across Puget Sound from West Seattle. Remember that you will not see a West Seattle Hi-Yu float, as the organization has gone inactive.
LEADING THE WAY: As we reported earlier this week, American Legion Post 160 Commander Keith Hughes is this year’s recipient of the Orville Rummel Trophy for Outstanding Community Service. Just announced as Grand Marshal, your District 1 City Councilmember Lisa Herbold, who lives in Highland Park.
WHERE & WHEN: The official parade start time is 11 am from California/Lander. But the SPD motorcycles get going at about 10:30, so they and their Vancouver counterparts are done with their thrilling maneuvers before the Joint Base Lewis-McChord color guard leads off the rest of the parade. You can watch from anywhere along California between Lander and the end of the route at Edmunds on the south side of The Junction. The heart of The Junction is where you will hear announcements by emcee Alison Grande.
TRAFFIC ADVISORY: The streets will close as early as 7 am. It’s not just California between Admiral (a bit north of the parade’s starting line, for staging) and Edmunds, but also streets to the west and east, where you’ll see NO PARKING signs already out, especially toward the start of the route. Please take the signs seriously so that the parade can happen without a hitch.
BUS REROUTES: Five routes will be rerouted on parade day, 22, 50, 128, 773 (Water Taxi shuttle), and the C Line – you can find the information on Metro’s alerts page.
BEHIND THE SCENES: The West Seattle Rotary Service Foundation presents the parade; many volunteers make it happen, including the four we observed at the lineup meeting – co-coordinators Jim Edwards, Dave Vague, and Michelle Edwards, and judges including Doreen Vague. The West Seattle Amateur Radio Club participates in coordination along the route on parade day.
BEFORE THE PARADE: The Float Dodger 5K starts from Hiawatha Playfield at 9:30 am – if you’re not running/walking in it, you are still welcome to get to the parade route early and cheer them on … If you’re watching from The Junction, and have little one(s) in the family, they might want to be part of the West Seattle Kiddie Parade, leaving California and Genesee at 11 am, after the motorcycles and before the rest of the parade.
Watch for a few more previews and reminders before parade day arrives! And if you’re going to be in it and want to share any advance info, email@example.com – thanks! Our West Seattle Grand Parade coverage dating back to 2006 is archived here.