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Grand Parade flows well on French Ave.
ARLINGTON More shade and a nice breeze made the crowd happy on the alternate route for the Fourth of July Grand Parade this year.
Organizers, participants and the audience alike all seemed to agree that the French Avenue route worked just fine maybe event better than Olympic Avenue, due to lots of trees for shade, grass to sit on and extra space to spread out.
Its a real credit to the community, the way they showed restraint and respect to the property owners, said Kelly Penny, who coordinated the parade on behalf of sponsor Cascade Valley Hospital & Clinics.
She expressed great appreciation to the neighborhood for their willingness to host the parade.
Id also like to thank all the volunteers the Cascade Valley staff members who helped, the Arlington Police Department, the Arlington Fire Department, and the school district for allowing us to set up the judge platform on their lawn as well as providing a landing for the line-up at Haller Middle School. The residents were wonderful, she said.
Penny enjoyed riding in the parade with the SeaFair Pirates, who joined the crowd at Haller Park afterward, dancing to the tunes of Becky Foster and the A-Band, and waiting for the results of the Great Stilly Duck Dash.
It was a lot fun riding on their float. The pirates all said what a great place this is and that they had a wonderful time, Penny said.
She added that the pirates had so much fun here thats its very possible they will come back next year.
They told me, Kelly, you are the reason why we are here.
Its up to the SeaFair Pirates Captain to make the choice where to spend the Fourth of July and this years captain chose Arlington due to Pennys enthusiasm when she called last year. Although they were already booked last year, they put this years Grand Parade on the calendar then.
It was the captains last operation for the year. They were impressed because everyone thanked them for coming, Penny said.
Penny also expressed thanks to APD Lieutenant Ed Erlandson for his help from the early stages of planning until it was all over, and to Ren Whites Boy Scout Troop No. 92 for emptying garbage cans right after the parade and for making one last clean-up Thursday morning.
We had no complaints at all, Penny said. Chief Gray said that crowd control was much easier due to the extended length of the parade so the crowd was more spread out.
Only one anonymous concern came into The Arlington Times office, with an Arlington resident wondering why there was no marching band. The Times staff tracked down the information that the band director was out of town on vacation and his students chose not to march without him.
One of the residents on French Avenue who enjoyed a front row seat for the parade without stepping off his porch, just north of First Street, Paul Graves said he invited about 35 friends to watch the parade from his yard.
Its terrific! Graves said during the parade. He was a bit worried about the potential mess but mid way through the parade, it didnt seem to be a problem.
Its been a wonderful excuse to have a party! he laughed.
Tom and Judy Donoghue found a nice shady spot from which to watch the parade.
I like it here. Its more comfortable, Judy Donoghue said.
Donna Husby, Darren and Leeann Carlson, Bobby Hubberty and Mike Santos watched the parade from the back of their pick-up truck parked in the school district office parking lot.
We parked over there at 7:30 this morning (pointing to the entry to the lot) and left our name and number in the window. They called us at 10 a.m. and asked us to move over here.
None-the-less, they had still had a good spot from the edge of the lot.
We like it up here, because we dont have any trouble with the merchants, Husby said.
Another excited spectator, David Boulton, who is president of the Arlington-Smokey Point Chamber of Commerce this year, has already decided hed like to see the parade make a loop next year, up Olympic Avenue and back down French.
If you wanna be a big dog, you gotta learn to pee in the tall grass, Boulton said it would be OK if we quote him saying that.
Yes, David and I will be getting together to discuss next year, Penny said.
The judges of the parade included Heather Logan, Jim Shaw, Jennifer and Scott Shaw, Sid Logan, Adam Cave, Robin Miller, Matt Donughue ,Val and Mike Hoerning. Emcee was Jim Ferrier with assistance from his wife, Janie Ferrier.