Parade

24 Jul 2012

After a great three week visit, Barbara said good-bye to us on a sunny Saturday and to topple our sorrow at her departure, Anabelle and I headed to our neighborhood Seafair parade. Seafair is something I’ve heard people talking about but really don’t understand what it is, how long it is, what the point is, or how we’re supposed to feel about it. I’ve read the website, the newspaper and talked to people and I’m still confused. From as much as I can understand, sometime in the 1950s, the city decided to hold a festival to celebrate its centennial. Sixty years later, it has grown and grown and is now a summer-long collection of neighborhood parades, pirate landings, 5Ks, 10Ks, triathlons, private parties, music events, and just about any other form of gathering you can put a logo on.

 

In our neighborhood, Wallingford, the annual Seafair parade takes place one sunny morning in July and follows a mile-long path down the major thoroughfare of 45th Street and ends at the Wallingford playfield where a party of moon bounces, food stands and hula hoops ensues. All conveniently within a three block radius of our house.

 

This was Anabelle’s first parade so we were super excited and Henric made her a coffee can drum which served tri-purpose as a chair and candy bucket. We headed down the street just a few minutes before the parade started and were lucky to still get a front row seat along the parade route in an empty driveway. I settled in for what I assumed would be a 20 minute viewing of some kids on bikes, a couple of candy-throwing clowns with maybe the junior high band sprinkled in the middle.

 

Over an hour later, we had watched eight marching bands (including six schools, a group of senior citizens, and the local gay pride musicians); countless neighborhood groups and boy scouts on bikes, in wagons, riding on a magical school bus float, and pushed in strollers; a three-block-long train of clowns and clown vehicles; at least twenty drill squads dressed in full feathered regalia (who knew step/drill was so popular in the Pacific Northwest?!); and a really incredible display by Seattle Light, the local electric company, with a service truck and employee dancers doing the electric slide.

 

Anabelle actually stayed pretty engaged the whole parade and we left with her drum full of candy, stickers, sunglasses and a XXL long-sleeve t-shirt from a 2010 pumpkin-themed 10K put on by the neighborhood dentist’s office.

 

From the parade we walked over to the playfield and enjoyed extremely long lines for the moon bounces and I was rewarded for all the fun with a five minute jump round full of smiles and extreme laughter. I guess I sometimes forget how great a parade and a moon bounce can be if you’re three.

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