Wallyhood welcomes our newest contributor, Victoria Dzenis.
On July 9, 2013, Wallingford played host once again to the Annual Seafair Wallingford Parade, known for many years as the “Kiddie Parade”. Considered the longest running Seafair Parade, the Kiddie Parade was in danger of not happening at all in its 64th year, until the Wallingford Chamber of Commerce (WCoC) and the Wallingford Community Senior Center (WCSC) teamed up to make it happen. The event organizers made some changes to the event this year in the hopes of generating excitement and enhancing the community feel of the events.
Did you attend the Parade and Festival? What did you think of the changes? What would you like to see next year?
Parade watchers got to see local schools, organizations and their neighbors march by with colorful banners and costumes. Local drill teams competed for awards; the Dolls and Gents and the Baby Dolls won the Senior and Junior categories, respectively. Honorable mentions were given for non-drill team participants: the Jae H. Kim Taekwondo Institute and “Neptune’s Daughter” who dressed in memory of Esther Williams were recognized. Additional awards are planned for next year.
Flipping the parade route to end up at the festival in Meridian Park at the Good Shepherd Center (GSC), the WCSC/WCoC organizers attracted attention to the GSC as a gathering area for residents and visitors alike. There was a great turnout at the festival at Meridian Park as families shopped at the vendor stalls, climbed the Rock Wall and ate lots of ice cream, hamburgers, hot dogs and Mighty-O donuts. There were so many people in attendance at the festival that one of the food vendors ran out of supplies within 2 hours! The event organizers plan to attract more food vendors next year, focusing on local Wallingford restaurants.
Volunteers were recruited from local organizations such as Hallows Church, the Wallingford Boys & Girls Club, and grad students from the UW School of Public Affairs; these were joined by employees of Walgreens and Keller Williams, who came together to set up and tear down for both the parade and festival. Of course, the organization of the parade on the big day was greatly helped by the very experienced Seafair Parade Marshals as well.
Finally, the generous help of local business sponsors bears mentioning. From the Presenting Sponsor, Harbor Urban, to the in-kind donations of businesses like Tweedy & Pop, the support of community-minded local businesses was necessary to keep this Wallingford tradition going.
Next year will be the 65th Anniversary of the Seafair Parade in Wallingford and this year’s organizers plan to make both the Parade and Festival even more fun and festive for our “Wallingford Family”. Stay tuned for more in 2014! Check out the link to see photos of this year’s event, courtesy of Ron Waldman!