Behind the scenes, before Saturday’s 2018 West Seattle Grand Parade

The West Seattle Grand Parade doesn’t just “happen.”

Before the 70+ entries – and hundreds of participants – roar, roll, and march down California SW this Saturday (July 21st), a lot of planning and coordination is required. Including the lineup meeting, which happened at American Legion Post 160 in The Triangle this past Monday night.

Above are key behind-the-scenes people who made that happen and who will be out Saturday ensuring it goes well – from left, standing, Michelle Edwards, Barbara Edwards, Jim Edwards, Meredith Laws, with Keith Hughes in front – plus, attending this time by phone, Dave Vague. (Michelle is leading the coordination this year, with Jim and Dave; Keith is parade chair for the parade-presenting organization Rotary Club of West Seattle, of which Meredith is the new president.)

We sat in on the lineup meeting again this year and while the parade continues to take shape in the days after it, here are some toplines so far:

*1 Seattle Fire engine
*1 classic privately owned fire truck
*Two police motorcycle drill teams (including the only U.S. appearance by Vancouver, B.C., PD, as usual)
*Two marching bands (All-City Band, which includes musicians from local public schools, and Kennedy HS)
*Three visiting floats
*Scout groups
*Youth sports teams
*Drill teams
*Community organizations
*Local businesses
*Cultural groups
*VIPs, including, as already announced, Grand Marshal Lora Swift and Orville Rummel Trophy winner Velko Vitalich
*The full Seafair parade contingent, including Pirates, Clowns, the court, and more

What’s new this year: The PAWrade (still time for you to register – or, just show up at California/Genesee with your pup on Saturday morning!)

What you won’t see: The pre-parade Float Dodger 5K is on hiatus this year.

Who’s announcing: If you’re watching in The Junction, you’ll hear the voice of West Seattle’s own longtime broadcaster/journalist Brian Callanan.

Where to watch: Anywhere along the route! You can see the map on the official parade website. (Remember that California SW along the route will be closed by midmorning, and there are parking restrictions on adjacent streets too, especially the staging streets near the start of the route.)

How long does it last? The motorcycles go first, sometime after 10:30 am. The PAWrade will start from California/Genesee at 11 am. The parade generally ends around 1 pm (sooner of course if you’re watching toward the start of the route in The Admiral District).

The VIPs out of the spotlight: Besides the parade coordinators and assistants at the start of the route – including help from Seafair – the West Seattle Amateur Radio Club will have radio operators all along the route (led by Jim Edwards, who travels the route on motorcycle) in constant communication. And the judges (led by Barbara Edwards) will be at various spots along the route – the winners are announced later in the day and as always, we’ll publish the list.

See you at the Grand Parade – a West Seattle tradition since 1934!

P.S. Saturday’s bus reroutes are linked here.

3 Replies to "Behind the scenes, before Saturday's 2018 West Seattle Grand Parade"

  • GMT July 19, 2018 (1:04 pm)

    A huge thank you to all those involved for their time and commitment in organizing this wonderful, annual community event.  Appreciate you ordering fabulous weather for the day too!  Looking forward to seeing another “Grand Parade!”

  • 1994 July 19, 2018 (8:44 pm)

    They look like a happy bunch! We have enjoyed many Grand Parades – thank you! 

  • rico July 20, 2018 (9:02 am)

    I nominate Jim Edwards for a community award, he seems to be involved in a number of good things.

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