West Seattle, Washington
If you were somewhere on California SW between Admiral or The Junction, watching today’s West Seattle Grand Parade, congratulations on being part of its big comeback! We’ve already published photos of the winning entries, plus video of the entire parade, but we wanted to acknowledge even more of the people who participated:
Above, with the Orville Rummel Trophy for Outstanding Service to the Community, is this year’s winner Deb Barker – we told her story here last Monday (with a list of prior winners); it’s a special honor presented by the parade committee every year (except for the recent hiatus). She was chauffeured by local entrepreneur and preservationist John Bennett in his 1949 Cadillac convertible. Also in a classic convertible, a 1972 Eldorado, this year’s Grand Marshal, restaurateur and small-business advocate Dan Austin:
The award-winning Highland Park Improvement Club entry (also featuring a replica of the fire-damaged HPIC building) had a guest of honor – riding in Kelly Lyles‘s art car was past HPIC president Martha Mallett:
Parade co-sponsor Potter Construction (WSB sponsor)’s founder Gary Potter walked with his company’s entry:
From West Seattle Baseball, the tournament-champion 10U Red All-Stars:
Two West Seattle-residing elected officials walked in the parade – King County Executive Dow Constantine, with a battery-electric Metro bus …
… and U.S. House Rep. Pramila Jayapal, walking with the 34th District Democrats …
The only city entry was North Admiral-headquartered Seattle Fire Engine 29:
The end of today’s West Seattle Grand Parade didn’t mean the end of work for the volunteers who make it happen. Among them, the judges, who gathered at the Senior Center of West Seattle post-parade to decide the winners. Here are the results!
OVERALL GRAND PRIZE WINNERS
1st Place – Seattle All-City Band
2nd Place – Sequim Irrigation Festival
3rd Place – Electronettes Drill Team and Drill Squad
DANCE AND CHEER TEAMS
1st Place – West Seattle High School Cheer
2nd Place – Joyas Mestizas – Seattle Mexican Folk Dance Group
3rd Place – Grupo Folklorico Citlali
1st Place – Kennedy High School “Lancer” Marching Band
2nd Place – America’s First Corps Army Band
3rd Place – All Star Drumline
1st Place – Sequim Irrigation Festival
2nd Place – Fathoms O’ Fun, Port Orchard
1st Place – Holy Rosary School
2nd Place – Mountain to Sound Outfitters
3rd Place – Seattle Commodores
1st Place – Washington State Sons of the American Revolution
2nd Place – Southside Revolution Jr. Roller Derby
3rd Place – Highland Park Improvement Club
DRILL TEAMS – SR.
1st Place – Electronettes Drill Team and Drum Squad
2nd Place – Washington Diamonds Drill Team
DRILL TEAMS – JR.
1st Place – Electronettes Butterfly Drill Team
2nd Place – Washington Diamonds Drill Team Jr.
3rd Place – Daughters of Royalty Drill Team
1st Place – Seafair Pirates
2nd Place – Seafair Clowns
3rd Place – Rain City Rope Works
CARS & ANTIQUE CARS
1st Place – 1942 American LaFrance Fire Truck
2nd Place – WA MINI United Parade Team
3rd Place – West Seattle VFW
1st Place – Capital West Homes
2nd Place – Chuck-E-Cheese
3rd Place – West Seattle Reign Sports
The West Seattle Grand Parade Judges Committee members are Rolla Queen, Sheryl Bogie, Mike Sutter, Carol Pennie, Rob Zoffel, led by Barbara Edwards:
We’ll continue adding photos/videos above, and we’ll have a few additional photo galleries to come too; for video of the entire parade, see our earlier report.
11:09 AM: Just under way from California/Lander, with Grand Marshal Dan Austin leading the way, the first West Seattle Grand Parade since 2019 has begun. The 70+ entries – floats, marching bands, drill teams, community groups, schools, businesses, more – will proceed down California SW to SW Edmunds, at the south end of The Junction, over the next hour or so. Parade-team members are all along the route to make sure things go well; California will remain closed along the route until the parade has passed (here’s the bus-reroute info).
Announcers are at California/Charlestown (with the Kiwanis Club of West Seattle) and California/Alaska (with Brian and Christa Callanan).
We’ll have some in-progress updates on our Twitter feed at @westseattleblog, plus we will update here when the parade’s over; then we’ll have separate reports here on WSB later with lots of photos and video from the parade.
11:58 AM: The parade is over at the start line. (Above – that’s coordinator Michelle Edwards, and when she’s left the starting line, you KNOW the last entry has hit the road.) We’ll update again when it has concluded at The Junction.
12:42 PM: Parade’s entirely over, and California has reopened.
2:25 PM: Before we assemble other highlight reports, here’s our unedited video of the entire parade as it reached The Junction, just under an hour long:
Colton Grant and Karl Coy from Potter Construction (WSB sponsor) sent that photo after decorating the company truck that’ll be in Saturday’s West Seattle Grand Parade, one of 70+ entries. With the parade – a tradition since 1935 – just hours away, we have one last preview with what you need to know:
WHEN: Starting at 11 am.
WHERE: Starting from California/Lander and continuing south on California to Edmunds – see the route here.
WHO: People from all over West Seattle, and some beyond (Sequim, Olympia, Port Orchard, among others)
WHAT: Floats, all sorts of vehicles – cars, fire trucks, buses, boats – plus people walking, dancing, jumping, and rolling, drill teams, and yes, marching bands, like the All-City Band, which practiced last night at Nino Cantu Southwest Athletic Complex:
GRAND MARSHAL: Dan Austin (proprietor of Peel & Press in Morgan Junction and longtime small-business advocate)
ORVILLE RUMMEL TROPHY HONOREE: Deb Barker (longtime community advocate/volunteer, profiled here)
PARADE PRESENTERS: The West Seattle Rotary Club Service Foundation presents the parade, which is planned and coordinated by volunteers, chaired by Keith Hughes.
ANNOUNCERS: Led by West Seattle-residing journalist/broadcaster Brian Callanan – the announcing stand is at California/Alaska.
AWARDS: The parade is judged and the winners will be announced post-parade (we’ll publish the list).
STREET CLOSURES/PARKING RESTRICTIONS: The latter kick in at 7 am (don’t risk getting your car towed!); the former, a bit later. Also note that in addition to the route on California, some side streets near the start and end of the route are used for staging, so they are posted too. (P.S. Bus reroutes for Routes 50 and 128 and the C Line – info’s here.)
5K BEFORE THE PARADE: The Float Dodger 5K walkers/runners head down the route at 9:30 am – last-minute registration is available near the starting line at Hiawatha Playfield, and a free kids’ dash is set for 8:45 am.
WHERE TO WATCH: Anywhere along the route! Be near California/Lander to be the first to see everyone get going; be at California/Charlestown or California/Alaska to hear the entries announced. (Some people stake out spots early.)
If the West Seattle Grand Parade had a marquee, the All-City Band would be atop it – the student musicians who are perennial favorites in this parade and others. Above is video sent to us showing the band practicing at Seattle Center earlier this week; tonight they’ll be rehearsing at Nino Cantu Southwest Athletic Complex; and then you can watch for them Saturday as the parade gets going at 11 am from California and Lander, headed south on California to Edmunds. Their rehearsals are reminders that parades don’t just spontaneously happen – they take a lot of planning. We got our annual peek into the parade-planning process back on Monday night at American Legion Post 160 headquarters in The Triangle.
That’s when members of the parade team gathered for the lineup meeting, arranging the 70+ entries into a running order for Saturday. It’s definitely an art – beyond the perennial basics such as placing the Grand Marshal (this year, restaurateur and small-business advocate Dan Austin) and Orville Rummel Trophy winner (Deb Barker, as reported here) toward the start. This year was especially interesting, noted coordinator Michelle Edwards, because of the variety of entries – some regular participants haven’t fully restarted their efforts, but some first-time-ever entries surfaced to more than compensate.
Entries are from as far away as Sequim and Olympia, but of course West Seattle entries are at the heart. You’ll see community groups like the Highland Park Improvement Club, sports organizations like West Seattle Baseball and West Seattle Reign, unique vehicles like the DeLoreans and antique fire trucks, school groups including Holy Rosary and West Seattle High School, jump-rope performers, roller skaters, two folkloric dance groups, local businesses (including WSB sponsors Potter Construction and Mountain to Sound Outfitters) … All-City Band isn’t the only marching band; other musical entries include the Kennedy Catholic High School Marching Band. And on Wednesday, we told you about the nautical entries!
Sometimes things change at the last minute, so the parade team has to plan for that too, with placeholders and contingency plans. And it all has to balance out with the staging areas on Saturday morning near the starting point. With all the street-closure and no-parking signs along the route, lots of logistics are involved – generally unseen along the parade sidelines are amateur-radio operators communicating about anything of note (stalled vehicles, for example).
But all you have to do is show up and watch! Anywhere along the route (announcements can be heard at two spots, California/Charlestown and California/Alaska). The parade starts at 11 am, but the street closures start hours earlier, with parking restrictions kicking in at 7 am (don’t ignore the signs, you’ll be towed). At least one more preview to come!
Three days until the West Seattle Grand Parade, so today we step up the previews. As had become an annual tradition pre-pandemic, we sat in on the parade-lineup meeting, where parade-team members arrange the entries into the order you’ll see on Saturday (July 23rd). The 70+ entries this year include more nautical-themed participants than past years.
That’s Smitty J. Tugboat from the South Sound Maritime Heritage Foundation. You’ll also see a 21-foot replica of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (itself periodically seen off West Seattle), courtesy of the Pacific Northwest Naval Air Museum, plus the Miss HomeStreet hydro, Seafair Pirates‘ landlubbing vessel Moby Duck, and boats from the Seafair Commodores and the West Seattle Yacht Club.
Also in the seagoing vein, other entries include a float from Port Orchard’s Fathoms O’ Fun Festival and local wildlife responders SR3.
That’s just a small sampling of who and what you’ll see on Saturday. The parade starts from California/Lander at 11 am and travels south down California to Edmunds (see the route here). You can hear the announcements at California/Charlestown and California/Alaska. Since this is a transition year, no pre-parade mini-parades this year – like the PAWrade or Kiddies’ Parade – aside from the Float Dodger 5K, which heads down the parade route at 9:30 am. Next preview, we’ll have more about the parade entries, plus the behind-the-scenes parade process.
The West Seattle Grand Parade is back this Saturday and so is a tradition that accompanies it – choosing someone to honor with the Orville Rummel Trophy for Outstanding Service to the Community.
This year, the trophy goes to Deb Barker, whose current community-service roles include president of the Morgan Community Association, board member of the West Seattle Transportation Coalition, and member of the West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force – but that’s only the latest in a long, long list spanning more than 30 years. Here’s a biography of Deb Barker, provided by parade organizers:
Barker is perhaps best known locally in three roles — as president of the Morgan Community Association (MoCA) since 2009, as one of a three-member LLC to save the iconic Stone Cottage on Harbor Avenue and as an active voice on the West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force since its inception in 2020.
However, Barker’s West Seattle involvement extends back more than three decades, starting in 1989, when she was one of three steering committee members of the Save the Admiral Theater Task Force of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, which led the successful drive to secure city landmark status for the peninsula’s only movie house. She also served on the historical society’s board from 1989 to 1992, helping coordinate the organization’s initial “Homes with History” tours.
Barker’s preservation focus resurfaced in West Seattle when she was part of the multi-organizational steering committee for the 4Culture-funded study, “What Makes the West Seattle Junction Special?” This became the foundation of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society’s successful 2016-2017 campaign to landmark the business district’s cornerstone Campbell and Hamm buildings.
Her West Seattle activism has extended beyond heritage preservation. She served on the Southwest Design Review Board from 2004 to 2009, as the board steered architects toward human-scale elements for such projects as The Spruce complex, Admiral Safeway rebuild and the California at Charlestown mixed use buildings.
Transportation planning became another local emphasis for Barker when in 2013 she became a founding member of the West Seattle Transportation Coalition, which became a unified peninsula voice for equitable transportation and mobility issues.
Starting in 2018, Barker went further, joining Sound Transit advisory boards to help educate the community about light rail proposals while educating Sound Transit about West Seattle.
As part of such service, she has participated in countless online meetings to provide public comments on the routing of a light-rail extension in West Seattle. When the proposed ST3 “preferred above ground alignment” was to end in the Junction, she created a scale model of the plan and became an advocate of a tunnel alternative.
Also in 2018, Barker also helped organize the peninsula’s District 1 Community Network. The only organization of its kind in the city, the network encourages various neighborhood voices to remain active.
As MoCA president, Barker has kept Morgan Junction residents informed about issues and celebrated its businesses. She helped guide the community through recent upzoning and affordable housing challenges, advocating for quality design as the density increases. She also has presides over the Morgan Junction Community Festival, held each June at Morgan Junction Park at California Avenue and Southwest Eddy Street.
Her participation on the LLC for the Save the Stone Cottage Committee since 2019 helped execute a successful overnight move of the building in 2021 to Port of Seattle property along Harbor Avenue, where the stone-studded structure awaits a permanent move to a site
where it can be restored and opened to the public.
Although the West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force has completed its meetings, Barker looks forward to the projected September reopening of the West Seattle Bridge. Barker, 65, was born in Illinois into a Navy family that moved frequently, mostly on the West Coast. She and her husband, Mark Shaw, live in the Seaview neighborhood of Morgan Junction.
Originally a theatrical costumer, Barker moved to Seattle in 1985, working as a shopper and rental agent in the Seattle Repertory Theater costume shop. As a freelancer, she coordinated costumes for the 1990 Seattle-based Goodwill Games opening ceremonies, and eventually joined the local wardrobe union, becoming president of IATSE Local 887.
Her mainstay career, however, became civics. She obtained a master’s degree in urban design and planning from the University of Washington, and in 1990 she was hired as the first land-use intern at the newly incorporated city of Federal Way. There, she worked as a planner, reviewing and approving development proposals, briefing the city council and assisting the public. She retired in 2012.
Barker’s ardor for West Seattle issues has been mirrored by similarly passionate citywide involvement. She joined the board of Historic Seattle from 1986 to 1992, aiding in development of the Bel-Boy (Belmont-Boylston) affordable-housing complex on First Hill and in the growth of the organization’s Good Shepherd Center.
Her citywide service resumed in 2013, when Barker began a seven-year stint on the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board. She co-chaired the board from 2015 to 2020, a span during which the board conferred landmark status for prominent buildings such as Climate Pledge Arena (the former Coliseum and Key Arena), the Federal Reserve Bank Building and the ASUW Shell House, made famous by the book “The Boys in the Boat.”
Vivid memories emerge as Barker reflects on her West Seattle activism, from “sailing” along with the Admiral Theater float in the 1989 West Seattle Grand Parade to knocking on doors and “approaching total strangers” to seek permission for their residences to become part of a Homes with History tour.
Barker plans to stay involved in local concerns, including seeking landmark status for other West Seattle Junction buildings. She says her array of interests reflects her deep love of the city as a whole and especially the Duwamish peninsula: “My business card reads, ‘I Love West Seattle.’ It’s a good icebreaker because people enjoy sharing their West Seattle memories, but I also tend to wear my heart on my sleeve. I just love giving back to my community.”
The West Seattle Grand Parade starts at California/Lander at 11 am Saturday (July 23rd) and proceeds south on California to Edmunds – you can watch from anywhere along the route. We’ll have previews all week leading up to the big day.
ABOUT THE ORVILLE RUMMEL AWARD: It’s named after the man who founded the West Seattle parade in 1934, Orville Rummel – lots of background in the story we published the year we were honored with the trophy, 2010. The award was first presented in 1984. Here’s the full list of recipients along the way:
1984: Charles and Ann Gage
1985: RB Chris Crisler Jr.
1986: Morgan and Carol McBride
1987: Margaret Miaullis
1988: Charles Jung
1989: Aurlo Bonney
1990: Katie Thorburn
1991: Dorothy Poplawski
1992: Dan Wiseman
1993: Virgil Sheppard
1994: Dorene Smith
1995: Doris Richards
1996: John Kelly
1997: Dick Kennedy
1998: Jim Edwards and Barbara Edwards
1999: Lt. David E. Cass
2000: Husky Deli/Miller Family
2001: Stephanie Haskins
2002: Forest Lawn
2003: Sue Lindblom
2004: Edgar and Ann Phipps
2005: Karen Sisson
2006: Walt DeLong
2007: David and Doreen Vague
2008: Tim St. Clair
2009: Morey Skaret
2010: West Seattle Blog
2011: Cindi Barker
2012: Shirley Vradenburgh
2013: Judy Pickens
2014: Earl Cruzen
2015: Donn Weaver
2016: Clay Eals
2017: Keith Hughes
2018: Velko Vitalich
2019: Adah Cruzen
Now that West Seattle Summer Fest has wrapped up, time to start counting down to two big in-the-street events next Saturday (July 23rd) – the Float Dodger 5K and West Seattle Grand Parade. Both happen on California SW, from The Admiral District to The Junction (and back, for Float Dodger).
The 5K is coordinated by West Seattle Runner (WSB sponsor) and starts on the field at Hiawatha (2700 California SW) with a free Kids’ Dash at
9:15 am 8:45 am preceding the run/walk at 9:30 am. Runners head out onto California SW, run/walk down the parade route to The Junction, turn around and head back. You can register online until Thursday – do it here!
The West Seattle Grand Parade follows at 11 am, also starting in the 2700 block of California and heading south to The Junction (California/Edmunds). The parade is presented by the West Seattle Rotary Service Foundation. Parade chair Keith Hughes says more than 60 entrants are confirmed so far – including longtime favorites including the All-City Band plus classic cars, antique fire trucks, community organizations. Two announcing stations this year – California/Charlestown as well as California/Alaska. It all starts rolling southbound on California at 11 am Saturday, so grab your spot on the curb and cheer the parade’s return. More previews to come as the week goes on!
No SPD Motorcycle Drill Team, in our parade or the other summer parades in which they have traditionally appeared. That’s because the department doesn’t have one right now, confirms SPD spokesperson Det. Valerie Carson, who told WSB, “We just don’t have the staffing numbers.” She adds, “It was not officially disbanded, and I think the hope would be to someday re-establish it, but for now it has dissolved as a result of the department’s resource priorities.”
For the West Seattle Grand Parade, there’s one additional ripple effect of that: No SPD Motorcycle Drill Team means no Vancouver, B.C. Motorcycle Drill Team. This was the only U.S. parade in which they participated, and that was as a guest of the SPD team, explains longtime parade co-coordinator Jim Edwards.
Though the traditional parade-starting motorcycles aren’t available, the West Seattle parade does have 60+ other participants signed up so far; it’ll travel southbound along California SW from the Admiral District to The Junction on July 23rd, starting at 11 am.
With the return of the West Seattle Grand Parade this summer, a major pre-parade event is coming back too: West Seattle Runner (WSB sponsor) says it’s reviving the Float Dodger 5K, a fun run/walk on the parade route, round trip from the Admiral District. Registration is open now! Here’s the announcement from WSR:
Float Dodger 5K is back this year on July 23rd. Run or walk the parade route of the West Seattle Grand Parade right before the parade starts. Root-beer floats await you at the finish line. 100% of the proceeds goes to West Seattle Food Bank.
That’s not only proceeds from entries, but also from sponsorships, so the more sponsors they get, the more the WSFB is helped. Sponsor spots are now open, starting at $150. Here’s how to find out more about sponsoring. To register for the 5K – discount pricing until May 1st – go here.
P.S. Another donation that’ll contribute to the event – a beer garden with a donated keg from Good Society!
Among the many big public events shelved these past two years, the West Seattle Grand Parade. But this year, it’ll be back. We confirmed that with Rotary Club of West Seattle leaders when we covered their Spring for Kids event last weekend. This year’s date: Saturday, July 23rd. If you’re new – or if you’ve forgotten! – the parade proceeds from The Admiral District down California SW to The Junction. Still early for other details, but not too early to save the date.
With the pandemic not yet quashed, another major local summer event is skipping this year too. Just in from the Rotary Club of West Seattle:
It is with great sadness that we have to announce that the 2021 West Seattle Grand Parade has been cancelled for this summer. Keeping our participants and community members safe is our main priority. We are looking forward to returning in 2022!
The parade usually draws thousands along its route on California SW, from The Admiral District to The Junction, in July. Here’s our archived coverage of past years, including video clips and photos of the parade prize winners from 2019.
Another major summer event is off until next year. Just received from Keith Hughes, who chairs the West Seattle Grand Parade Committee for the Rotary Club of West Seattle:
It is with great sadness that I have to announce that the 2020 West Seattle Grand Parade has been cancelled.
The Parade has been held in July for 87 years, and is the longest running Community Parade in Seattle. The Parade Committee believes that in these difficult times, public safety is the greater concern. We are all committed to being back in 2021.
Our coverage of the 2019 West Seattle Grand Parade continues with more of the people who made it memorable. Above, Adah Rhodes Cruzen was this year’s recipient of the Orville Rummel Trophy for Outstanding Service to the Community (named for the parade’s founder, as explained here). Carl Blake – who had a bakery for decades in the space now home to Bakery Nouveau – was Grand Marshal:
Local veterans’ organization leaders often ride in convertibles too, but this year VFW Post 2713 commander Steve Strand walked, carrying the post flag:
Dozens of local Scouts walked in the parade, starting with the Troop 282 flag-bearers at the start:
There were also Sea Scouts:
And Girl Scouts:
Announcing all the entries as they passed, Brian and Christa Callanan in The Junction:
And at the new West Seattle Amateur Radio Club reviewing stand at California/Charlestown, Ron Zuber:
(As mentioned in our parade previews, amateur-radio operators work behind the scenes during the parade to coordinate and monitor everything along the route.) Another parade gallery or two to come before the weekend’s out!
Those are some of the hard-working volunteers who make the West Seattle Grand Parade happen – the judges! They’ve sent the awards list from today’s parade, and we’re adding video/photos we took along the way:
On behalf of Barbara Edwards (above center) and the West Seattle Grand Parade Judges, here is the list of winners from today’s parade:
OVERALL GRAND PRIZE WINNERS:
1st Place: Seattle Schools All City Marching Band
2nd Place: Sumner High School Spartan Marching Band:
3rd Place: Seafair Pirates
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) July 20, 2019
1st Place – Seattle Schools All-City Marching Band:
2nd Place – Sumner High School Spartan Marching Band:
Tie for 3rd Place:
Rainbow City Marching Band and Spinout:
Kennedy Catholic High School Marching Band:
1st Place: Seafair Pirates:
2nd Place: Pathfinder K-8 School Unicycle Team:
3rd Place: Joyas Mestizas – Seattle Mexican Folk Dance Youth:
Cars & Motorcycles:
1st Place: West Seattle Amateur Radio Club:
2nd Place: 1942 American LaFrance Fire Truck
3rd Place: Camp Crockett Dog Day Camp:
1st Place: Counterforce Taekwando:
2nd Place: O’Neill Plumbing:
3rd Place: Luna Park Café:
1st Place: Hope Lutheran School:
2nd Place: West Seattle Bengals Youth Football & Cheer
3rd Place: WA State Sons of the American Revolution
Drill Teams Jr & Cheer Squads:
1st Place: Butterfly Electronettes Drill Team:
Tied for 2nd Place:
West City Rope Ninjas & Ropeworks:
Washington Diamonds Drill Team Jr.
Drill Teams Sr.:
1st Place: Washington Diamonds Drill Team & Drums:
2nd Place: Electronettes Drill Team & Drum Squad
3rd Place: West Seattle High School Cheer:
1st Place: Holy Rosary School:
2nd Place: West Seattle Lions Club:
3rd Place: Skunkworks Robotics:
We’ll continue to add video and/or photos of the winners listed above, and we have other parade galleries in the works too.
Between the Float Dodger 5K and the West Seattle Grand Parade, dogs and their people had a chance to stroll The Junction this morning in the second annual PAWrade. Creativity and whimsy abounded:
So did cuddliness:
The PAWrade was organized by Lora Radford of the West Seattle Junction Association (below left):
The PAWrade even had its own marching band – the Junior All-City Band.
10:52 AM: Just under way from California/Lander, headed south to The Junction (California/Edmunds), the 2019 West Seattle Grand Parade is on! ~75 entries, as we’ve been previewing for the past week-plus. The Seattle and Vancouver (BC) Police Motorcycle Drill Teams lead the way, and then the rest of the parade – preceded again this year, by the PAWrade in The Junction. We’ll be tweeting some of the sights alnng the way (@westseattleblog) with an update here when it’s over, and multiple reports with photos and video here on WSB later.
12:33 PM: The parade has just ended at the north end of the route. We’ll update again when it’s concluded in The Junction.
1:22 PM: The last entry has passed the end of the route. Streets will be reopening.
P.S. While we put together comprehensive coverage in the hours ahead, here’s our vote for one of the liveliest parade moments – (updated) Miss Seafair 2015, Nella Kwan, with disco moves, instead of riding in a convertible doing the parade wave:
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) July 20, 2019
Less than 15 hours until the West Seattle Grand Parade! Some last-minute notes:
MAYOR AND POLICE CHIEF: The parade-presenting West Seattle Rotary got word this afternoon that Mayor Jenny Durkan and Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best will be in the parade, and shortly after we heard about that, the mayor’s office sent a “media advisory” saying they’ll precede the parade appearance with a “walking tour” in The Junction (eight months after their last one):
Mayor Durkan and Chief Best will first tour West Seattle, hear from the neighborhood’s small business owners, and discuss public safety and issues facing residents and employers in West Seattle.
They’re starting the tour at Husky Deli at 10 am.
PARADE PREPS: For parade participants, it’s the time for last-minute preparation:
SPEAKING OF FOOD: If you’re watching near the north end of the parade route, Kim at West Seattle Swinery wanted to mention his special: “We will be serving Danny’s famous pork belly rib sliders and a drink for $5.50 tax included until we run out.” (The Swinery is at 3207 California SW.)
PARADE BASICS: Official start time: 11 am (but the motorcycle drill teams may start sooner)
Route: California SW southbound from Lander to Edmunds
Announcers: Brian and Christa Callanan in The Junction, Ron Zuber at California/Charlestown
Closures: California SW from Admiral to Edmunds plus some side streets on both ends, for detours and reroutes, “no parking” starting at 7 am but roads close a bit later
Bus reroutes: See the links here
Float Dodger 5K: Starts near the north end of the parade route, on the field at Hiawatha, 9:30 am (more info here)
PAWrade: 11 am from California/Genesee to California/Edmunds (want to be part of it? here’s how)
Other previews: Scroll through our archive!
Parade day is almost here! Saturday at 11 am, the West Seattle Grand Parade will start at California/Lander, headed southbound to California/Edmunds. Every year we watch and listen as parade coordinators meet to put the final lineup together, so that we can share some preview info with you. Tonight – some of the performing participants you’ll see (besides the marching bands we’ve already previewed)!
*Joyas Mestizas (2018 parade photo above)
(Pathfinder K-8 Unicycle Team in a past West Seattle Grand Parade)
*The famous unicyclists from Pathfinder K-8
*Jump-rope stars from West City Ninjas and RopeWorks (2018 entry in above video)
*Cheer teams from local high schools
*Seafair Pirates and Clowns
And of course, this remains the ONLY area parade with two motorcycle drill teams – it’s the only U.S. appearance by the Vancouver, B.C., PD team, and the hometown Seattle PD team is part of the Grand Parade too. The two groups of motorcyclists take to the street before the rest of the parade, and if you are in The Junction, you’ll see the PAWrade on California between Genesee and Edmunds first. (You can be part of it too – and/or you can start your morning even sooner with the Float Dodger 5K leaving Hiawatha and taking to the parade route at 9:30 am.) One more preview to come before parade day!
With three days to go until the West Seattle Grand Parade, the no-parking signs are up along California SW, Admiral to Edmunds, and some side streets near the start and end of the route that are used for staging, detours, and breakdown. The parade (11 am Saturday, July 20th) is preceded by the Float Dodger 5K (9:30 am – registration’s still open) and the PAWrade in The Junction (here’s how you and your dog[s] can be in it!), so it’s a big morning/early afternoon; please heed the signs. P.S. – bus reroute info is now available.
As we continue previewing the parade, a big shoutout to the West Seattle Amateur Radio Club. You might not notice the role amateur-radio operators play in keeping the parade running smoothly once the entries (~75 this year) start rolling south from California/Lander. This year, explains parade co-coordinator Jim Edwards (a WSARC member himself), 20 radio operators will be along the route, communicating about how things are going. The WSARC also is staffing the new added review (announcing) stand at California/Charlestown. You’ll also see WSARC’s own Cora in the parade with her famous moves. The club is a parade sponsor this year too! (Find out more about WSARC – whose members span a wide range of ages – here.)
All week, we’re previewing Saturday’s West Seattle Grand Parade (11 am, southbound on California from Lander to Edmunds. Tonight, the marching bands that – as of Monday night’s lineup meeting are expected! As always, the award-winning All-City Band will be there, with student musicians from all over Seattle.
You can also expect to see the Kennedy Catholic High School band from Burien. Coming up from even further south, the Sumner High School Band. And Huskies will get to cheer for the University of Washington Alumni Band. Also planning to make music in the WSGP, the Rainbow City Marching Band. They’re all part of the ~75-entry parade presented by the West Seattle Rotary Foundation and coordinated by a hard-working group of volunteers. If you enjoy looking behind-the-scenes, be at the start of the parade route, early, and watch them in action. You can watch the parade from anywhere along the route; if you’re in The Junction, you’ll also see the PAWrade right before the Grand Parade – you can even be part of it! More previews to come.
We’re counting down to Saturday’s West Seattle Grand Parade, which starts at California/Lander at 11 am and heads south to The Junction. Tonight we sat in on the lineup meeting, during which the parade’s longtime volunteer coordinators arrange the order of entries – there’s an art to everything from making sure the marching bands and drill teams are evenly spaced, to deciding who’s parading immediately before and after the Seafair Pirates! (Earplugs ahoy.) And we learned about a new feature this year: An extra “reviewing stand” at California/Charlestown. Traditionally the only place you can hear the parade announced as it passes is in the heart of The Junction – that continues this year, with Brian and Christa Callanan your announcing team there, but they’ve also added announcing at California/Charlestown, where Ron Zuber will be at the mike. ~75 entries in the parade – more previews every day this week!
Keep your energy up! More big events ahead … including these three next Saturday (July 20):
FLOAT DODGER 5K: We photographed West Seattle Runner (WSB sponsor) co-proprietor Tim McConnell this weekend at Summer Fest, modeling custom sunglasses available to registrants while they last. The Float Dodger 5K takes you from Hiawatha down the West Seattle Grand Parade route on California to The Junction and back on Saturday morning, starting at 9:30 (after a costume contest!). WSR presents the Float Dodger 5K, with proceeds benefiting West Seattle Helpline. You can register online through Thursday. or in person through Friday at WSR (2743 California SW) to save fees. Packet pickup is 3-7 pm Friday (July 19th) at the store, where participants can also take advantage of a 10 percent in-store discount on merchandise.
2ND ANNUAL PAWRADE: In The Junction right before the Grand Parade, you and your dog(s) are invited to be part of the second annual PAWrade. No entry fee – but registration is required; you can do it online here (scroll down the page) or starting at 10 am on parade morning at California/Genesee. The PAWrade starts there at 11 am and travels a short route in The Junction, right as the Grand Parade begins in Admiral.
WEST SEATTLE GRAND PARADE: Motorcycles! Bands! Pirates! Floats! Dancers! Community groups! The parade-presenting West Seattle Rotary Foundation says 80+ entries are expected this year as the West Seattle Grand Parade heads down California SW from Lander to Edmunds starting at 11 am Saturday (be in place by 10:30 am as the motorcycle drill teams often start sooner). Cheer for the special honorees (here’s our preview about them)! If you’re in The Junction, you’ll hear parade announcers Brian Callanan and Christa Callanan. We’ll roll out more previews as this week goes on.