My sister and I headed to downtown Seattle the other night to watch a movie. As we turned down 4th Avenue, we noticed something peculiar: the sidewalks on both sides of the street were becoming increasingly crowded with people on blankets and in camping chairs. Parade? Now my sister has lived in Seattle for 12 years and I lived here for almost 10, but neither one of us had any clue what was going on. Then it occurred to me. Seafair. We’d unknowingly stumbled onto the Seafair Torchlight Parade. A quick visit to Google gave us the time, location and a hint of things to come – giant balloons and marching bands.
I’ve never seen a big parade. My parade experience is limited to my hometown in southern New Mexico where floats are decorated in tissue paper and the high point is often a fly over by fighter jets from our local air force base. Not saying those parades aren’t simply lovely, but Seattle had me at giant balloons. So we parked the car and wandered down toward the parade route. We found a space near the judging grandstand and for the next 2 hours, we stood, unwilling to give up our spot. My sister is not much of a parade person but she is THE BEST SISTER in the world and so she humored me. The parade started with a dance number by flight attendants at Alaska Airlines. Obviously, I was totally hooked, dancing along with the music, a smile plastered on my face. The floats were amazing works of art. Even the rain (it is Seattle after all) didn’t dampen my spirits.
One thing I love about Seattle is the cultural diversity. We were standing next to a little blond girl with a Scandinavian sounding accent and a little Vietnamese boy, watching wide-eyed as First Nation tribe members paraded by chanting and playing drums. I love being out in the crowd when something is happening in Seattle, always have. My sister makes fun of me because I can have anxiety when I’m home in bed, but I’m a-okay out in the throngs of happy parade goers. It’s true. I love people and so the energy I get from being part of the crowd overrides any sense of anxiety I may feel. And to be fair, sitting at home alone in bed gives a crazy mind time to wander.
Did anyone else see the parade? What were your favorite moments?
I'm generally pulled in a million different directions and I wouldn't trade it for the world. Here's a glimpse of my life - hope you enjoy it! And if there's a big lapse between posts, well, that's the way life goes in Amy's world.
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