The Seafair Torchlight Parade was held yesterday evening along 4th Avenue, and we walked down to check it out … along with 300,000 of our closest friends.
The parade was enjoyable, but I had one nagging question throughout.
The official name of the parade was the “Alaska Airlines Seafair Torchlight Parade”, but I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why the parade needed a corporate sponsor. I mean, all you need to hold a parade is a permit from the city, at which point all of the various participants put their own floats together and march down the street. Is it really so hard to secure a parade permit, that only a corporate giant can handle it?
I guess the police overtime and cleanup costs money, but this could be defrayed with a nominal entrance fee. Or maybe it can’t. What do I know. When it comes to parades, the answer is: absolutely nothing.
Anyway, my opinion on parades in general hasn’t changed. They’re cool, and they’re fun to watch, but they’re still thinly-veiled marketing events. I aways see lots of companies (and politicians) who treat their customers like shit smiling and waving in these things, and the phoniness and insincerity is certainly not lost on me. I just can’t take it all at face value.
The parade’s grand marshall this year was Drew Carey, who drew (no pun intended) rousing applause when he passed by. I don’t watch much TV, and I have no idea what show he’s on these days, but the man is most definitely a crowd-pleaser. He seems like an affable guy as well.
Overall, the performances were good, and the lit displays against the dusk sky were certainly pretty.
I took pictures and a video for about the first half hour or so, then I just kind of relaxed and watched. Parade photos and videos tend to suck. You kind of have to be there for the atmosphere and all of that.
Download Video: MP4
In any event, a good time was had by all in my group. Kudos to the participants, and a big thanks to Alaska Airlines for making the whole thing possible I suppose. If I have learned anything in the past decade, it is that the airline industry cares about us. God bless them.