One float in the kids parade pays tribute to Star Wars.
One float in the kids parade pays tribute to Star Wars.

Residents had already crowded the curbs of West McGraw Street in anticipation of the 2019 Magnolia Summerfest Seafair Parade and Kids Parade by 10 a.m. Saturday.

The Kids Parade started first, with onlookers fawning over the young ones as they advanced behind their preschool banners and rolled along in their one-toddler floats. Following the Kid’ Parade was the full-on Summerfest Seafair Parade, an extravaganza that had people nodding in appreciation of the Chinese Community Girls Drill Team, tapping their feet to the Seattle Schools All City Band, covering their ears at the cannon blasts of the Seattle Safari Pirates and laughing along with the clowns riding a Seafair Fire Department wagon.

Magnolia resident John Hirsh said he enjoyed all that the parades had to offer.

“It was awesome,” he said, hoisting up his young child. “It was actually this little one’s first parade ever. This is 18-month-old Kennedy. We really like the All City Band. They did, ‘I Like it Like That,’ and it was a hoot.”

Local Chandra Eidt said events like Summerfest, and the activities they provide to the community, are especially important.

“It’s great that the community gets together and does this,” Eidt said. “It brings everybody out together. It’s a chance to see your friends and neighbors and have a good time together.”

Hirsh agreed the community coming together is a wonderful thing for residents.

He said it’s great any time an event can draw attention to what’s going on in Magnolia, because it helps the people make connections and provides businesses a chance to be seen.

“I’d say it’s a great family affair,” Hirsh said. “I’m really glad we did it. We’ve lived here for like 10 years, and actually it was the first time we’ve come and seen the parade. I’m really glad that we came down and did it, and we will be back next year.”

After the parade, folks headed in droves over to the main area of the festival in the Magnolia Playfield.

Street food vendors lined the lane leading to the playfield — all full of deep-fried goodies, sugary sweets and grills of juicy meat. Some attendees came specifically for the dining options.

“It’s a pretty good time,” Magnolia resident Cecily Shepherd said. “I’m very excited for street food. I came here a couple years ago and got the rolled ice cream, and I’ve been striving to come back ever since, cause — oh my gosh — so good. I haven’t gotten a chance to look at all the other fun stuff going on, so I am looking forward to it.”

Some of that “other stuff” included live music, several bouncy houses for kids to reach terminal velocity on and a beer garden for those with horizontal IDs. Vendors lined up in rows for participants to peruse, offering unique products that show off what the community can accomplish as a center for commerce.

While the promise of food drew Shepherd in, she said it was the business offerings that kept her from leaving once she’d had her fill.

“We get to celebrate the diversity of, like, just this general area,” she said. “It also introduces you to other cool products that you wouldn’t necessarily otherwise know exist, especially in this area, because we strive for some pretty cool things as far as being ecologically friendly as well.”

Jessie Clawson said her 2-year-old son David had his eyes set on a particular activity.

“(Summerfest) is great,” Clawson said. “It seems like there’s a lot of people here. We saw the parade, and David wants to go do the Legos.”

Clawson and company also attended the parade and lucked out on their sideline-position relative to the pirate float’s cannon blasts.

“The parade was very good,” Clawson said. “We appreciated that the pirates didn’t do the cannon until later, because it’s a little scary.”

North Dakota resident Cindy Swanson said she only gets back to Magnolia, her old neighborhood, once every one or two years.

This year was a surprise, Swanson said, because after two years of absence in Washington, she finally arrived in sync with a community festival.

“Well, obviously it brings people together,” she said. “And this is fun, you know. It’s just a fun, carefree day. It’s all entertainment and enjoyment.”