People will start lining First Street early to see the annual Kla Ha Ya Days Parade that starts at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday July 19th.
The Seafair sanctioned event that has been around for more than 100 years and in 2013 was the Pacific Northwest’s largest parade when it boasted 107 units (parade entries). Kla Ha Ya Days Parade Chair, Colleen Currid, expects the same number this year for the community parade.
Leading the Grand Parade is the Kids Parade from 10:15 to 10:30am. Then you’ll see drill teams, high school bands, dance troops, mini donkeys, floats and surprises coming from the community entrants. And it’s all FREE!
Putting on a parade requires time, commitment and a great sense of humor. Colleen Currid has all the attributes. Ever since Colleen’s parents took her to parades when she was a little girl she wanted to be a big part them. She has been a volunteer Seafair Parade Marshal for 27 years and Kla Ha Ya Days Parade Chair for almost 7 years. "I absolutely love it!" she explained. "I’m not putting on a parade for the community; it’s the community’s parade. I just put them in order."
As a Seafair event seven Parade Marshals are sent to Snohomish to get the 107 Kla Ha Ya Days units down the road. This in itself is an organizational feat. The new Seafair Chief Marshal asked Colleen, "How do you do it?"
With help from trained young Explorers in the Police, Fire and Search and Rescue units in the county. Kla Ha Ya Days parade is truly a community affair. "It’s unique. I want to keep our parade a community parade," added Colleen. "I’ve worked with these Marshals before. We’re a close knit community. You’ll be able to see the Parade Marshals if you look. They’re wearing white pants and light blue shirts."
Asked what her favorite unit is she picked Miss Everett Hydroplane. "We have our own home town hydro. Most people don’t know that and that’s so exciting." She also enjoys seeing the scout troops especially the Cub Scouts with their chests puffed out as they pass their grandparents and how proud they look.
Following the Kla Ha Ya Days parade, Colleen will be a Parade Marshal for other Seafair parades culminating with the Torchlight Parade July 26th. "No other parade is quite like the Kla Ha Ya Days community parade," she added.
Before the parade is the 5 Mile & 1 Mile River Run. Afterwards will be plenty of silly games to play, a street fair, chainsaw carving exhibition, music, food and wine and beer garden.. Something for everyone in the family. Go to http://www.klahayadays.com/events/schedule/ for a complete schedule.