Sunday, July 31, 2011

Torchlight Parade!

Well, the parade is back. And not a moment too soon. I mean, the weather has been so crappy that it barely seems like summer. If not for the parade, nobody would be able to tell. For once in many years, I was there before the festivities started. I usually just wait for parade-noise and wander over. Just like at the Edmonds Fourth of July Parade, this one began with cops on motorcycles. But in Edmonds, there were only three. Here in Seattle, there were more:

Soon there were guys with flags:

And an Alaska Airlines float with accompanying flight attendant drill team:

I have to say, their routine was pretty hilarious.

The grand marshal was Drew Carey. I don't know how he landed the job, as he's famously from Cleveland and whatnot. All I can tell you is that he's no Bob Barker. Pardon the bad photo:

There were also strangely dressed horse-folk:

My sister used to ride and show Arabian horses back in the day, and there was a part of just about every show known as "native costume." Looking back, it seems an exercise in silliness; American teenagers dressing up like belly dancers and riding horses. These people bear no resemblance to that practice, so I'm stumped. But gee, they sure looked strange. The horses didn't seem to mind.

Here's a nice shot of Dow Constantine:

I think he's from here and not Cleveland.

Behold! The bus of the future:

I'd pay $2.25 to ride that!

You know, I didn't take pictures of the various princess floats (they have princesses for every kind of produce under the sun) from communities all over the state and beyond. It didn't seem that important. Sure riding on a float and waving seems like a lot of fun, but it really doesn't resonate with me. I also don't get drill teams. I fail to see their point. Most of them last night were out of step with each other. It just seems to be an activity that makes no difference to anyone except those who participate in it. Of course, if the North Queens save us from a killer robot attack, I'll revise my opinion.

OK, so there was also the fire department bagpipe band:

I turned the sound on for this one, because there's nothing sweeter than the shriek of bagpipes recorded by a cell phone.

There weren't many balloons present last night, but I always like to film them ducking under the traffic lights. Here's Holland America Lines' orca:

And this is from American Family Insurance:

There was also a Blue Angels balloon, but surprisingly, it didn't float. What a gyp! A non-floaty balloon. Your tax dollars at work!

There were more horse-people. These are from the Sheriff's Dept:

Then a plane flew very low over head. I don't think it was part of the parade. The pilot was probably just trying to get a gander of things:

Then came proud Mexicans:

They had a horse contingent and although I didn't get any shots of it (though I really tried), they had this fascinating way of stepping. The horses, I mean. I have no idea what they call it, but it's very slow and ponderous. It was a real crowd favorite.

There was also Chief Diaz:

Apologies once again for the bad photo. I tell you, that guy moves faster than a squirrel, so my camera had troubles. I wrote a song about him. More on that in the next few days.

And it's not a Seafair parade without Seafair clowns. Here they are:

They weren't scary. But they also weren't particularly funny.

Every year, I always hang out until the dragon shows up. By that time, I'm usually all paraded out. It starts with the girls' drill team. OK, so I featured a drill team:

And then the dragon shows up:

They ran around and passed by and that was the parade for me. The end.

Sure, I'm missed the pirates (I heard them just fine) and the hydros, but I saw the dragon. I say again, the end.

Oh, and this year there were still no actual, genuine torches. There used to be.


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Drew Carey is one of the bigger owners of the MLS Seattle Sounders soccer team. He mandated a team pep band. Must of worked as the Sounders sell out every game and lead the league in average attendance by a factor of about two.

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