By Alyssa McFarland
Do you enjoy a parade? Perhaps you used to go to the Seafair parade or Fremont Solstice Parade, but now it seems like too much trouble? Annoyed by the crowds and the sun in your eyes? Since my daughter is a member of a drill team, I went to a lot of parades last summer and now feel qualified to help you get the most out of any parade you attend.
- The best place to sit is by the judges’ stand. This is where any group in the parade who has an act to perform will be strutting their stuff. You’ll get the most entertainment value for your time by sitting here, because otherwise you might find all those drill teams, drum lines, comedy skits, and dance troupes just marching on by you. The judges’ stand is typically near the middle of any parade route, and is demarcated by a tent or canopy or a raised platform of some kind. If you are coming close to the start of the parade, you’ll know the judges’ stand by listening for the sound of the announcer’s voice. During the parade, you can learn more about each group that passes by listening to what the announcer has to say about them.
- If it’s an evening parade like our Greenwood Seafair parade, put out a seat early if you can, like by noon at the latest. Think about where the sun will be when you will be there, so you can avoid having the sun right in your eyes. Put your name on your chair with a Sharpie pen. I’ve been leaving my chair out for years and it’s always there for me later.
- Dress in layers, as it can be sweltering at the beginning and quite cool by the end. Put on sunblock if you are sensitive to the sun. And don’t forget your sun hat and sun glasses.
- If you’re like me and base your activities around bathroom availability, you should know there are normally portable toilets at parades. If this doesn’t appeal to you, some stores and restaurants are gracious enough to open their facilities to the crowd. In Greenwood, you can count on Fred Meyer to have its doors open for you, and Fred Meyer is typically where the judges’ stand is too…bonus!
The next parade in our neighborhood is the 65th Annual Greenwood Seafair Parade, July 22, 2015 from 6-8:30pm. This year’s theme is “Don’t Rain on My Parade”. The parade route is Greenwood Avenue between N 95th & N 85th, then west to 6th Ave NW.