Torchlight Parade

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The Torchlight Parade is the finale in a long series of parades around the greater Seattle area under the auspices of Seafair, a Seattle summertime celebration. The parade is one of the original Seafair events dating to the 1951 centennial celebration. The first parade was actually held on August 12, 1950, in the afternoon, as the Seafair Grande Parade.

Parade procession of people

A parade is a procession of people, usually organized along a street, often in costume, and often accompanied by marching bands, floats, or sometimes large balloons. Parades are held for a wide range of reasons, but are usually celebrations of some kind. In Britain, the term parade is usually reserved for either military parades or other occasions where participants march in formation; for celebratory occasions, the word procession is more usual. In the Canadian Forces, the term also has several less formal connotations.

Seattle City in Washington, United States

Seattle is a seaport city on the West Coast of the United States. It is the seat of King County, Washington. With an estimated 730,000 residents as of 2018, Seattle is the largest city in both the state of Washington and the Pacific Northwest region of North America. According to U.S. Census data released in 2018, the Seattle metropolitan area’s population stands at 3.87 million, and ranks as the 15th largest in the United States. In July 2013, it was the fastest-growing major city in the United States and remained in the Top 5 in May 2015 with an annual growth rate of 2.1%. In July 2016, Seattle was again the fastest-growing major U.S. city, with a 3.1% annual growth rate. Seattle is the northernmost large city in the United States.

Seafair summer celebration in Seattle, Washington, U.S.

Seafair is a summer festival in Seattle, Washington, that encompasses a wide variety of small neighborhood events leading up to several major citywide celebrations. While many small block parties and local parades occur under the auspices of Seafair, most Seattle residents associate Seafair with the Torchlight Parade, Seafair Cup hydroplane races, and the Blue Angels. Seafair has been an annual event in Seattle since 1950 but its roots can be traced to the 1911 Seattle Golden Potlatch Celebrations.

The Torchlight Parade is usually on either the last Saturday in July or the first Saturday in August. The parade starts in the evening, close to dusk which gives it the name. Because of the dark, participants are encouraged to include creative uses of light and luminescent devices in their display. The parade draws an estimated crowd of over 300,000 people each year. Some of those wanting a prime viewing location arrive the night before with couches, rugs, and portable refrigerators.

Dusk darkest stage of twilight, or at the very end of astronomical twilight after sunset and just before night

Dusk occurs at the darkest stage of twilight, or at the very end of astronomical twilight after sunset and just before night. Pre-dusk, during early to intermediate stages of twilight, there may be enough light in the sky under clear conditions to read outdoors without artificial illumination, but at the end of civil twilight, when Earth rotates to a point at which the center of the Sun is 6° below the local horizon, artificial illumination is required to read outside. The term dusk usually refers to astronomical dusk, or the darkest part of twilight before night begins.

The parade has had several route changes in its history. The first year it was held in a loop on 2nd and 3rd Avenues. It was later changed to start at 4th and Madison and make its way to Memorial Stadium. The current parade route begins by Seattle Center, follows 4th Avenue through Downtown Seattle and ends at the north parking lot of CenturyLink Field, a distance of about 2 to 2.5 miles.

Memorial Stadium (Seattle) stadium in Seattle

Memorial Stadium is an outdoor athletic stadium in Seattle, Washington, used mostly for American football, ultimate and soccer, located in the northeast corner of the Seattle Center grounds. It has a seating capacity of 12,000; this was temporarily expanded to 17,000 during 1974–75, while the Seattle Sounders, of the North American Soccer League, played at Memorial Stadium, before moving to the newly constructed Kingdome. Similarly, an A-League reincarnation of the Sounders franchise played at Memorial Stadium, before moving to Qwest/CenturyLink Field. It currently hosts Seattle School District high school football games and adult recreational leagues, and is the home field for the Seattle Cascades of the American Ultimate Disc League.

Seattle Center

Seattle Center is an arts, educational, tourism and entertainment center in Seattle, Washington, United States. Spanning an area of 74 acres, it was originally built for the 1962 World's Fair. Its landmark feature is the 605-foot (184 m) tall Space Needle, which at the time of its completion was the tallest building west of the Mississippi River. Seattle Center is located just north of Belltown in the Uptown neighborhood.

Downtown Seattle central business district

Downtown is the central business district of Seattle, Washington. It is fairly compact compared with other city centers on the West Coast of the United States because of its geographical situation. It is hemmed in on the north and east by hills, on the west by Elliott Bay, and on the south by reclaimed land that was once tidal flats. It is bounded on the north by Denny Way, beyond which are Lower Queen Anne, Seattle Center, and South Lake Union; on the east by Interstate 5, beyond which is Capitol Hill to the northeast and the Central District to the east; on the south by S Dearborn Street, beyond which is Sodo; and on the west by Elliott Bay, which is part of Puget Sound.

Participants include, among other things:

Seafair Pirates club / fraternal group in Seattle

The Seattle, Washington Seafair Pirates are a voluntary group of people started in 1949 by the members of the Washington State Press Club. They joined together with other community leaders to create Seattle's first Seafair Festival in 1950.

DUKW six-wheel-drive amphibious modification of the 2-ton capacity CCKW trucks

The DUKW is a six-wheel-drive amphibious modification of the ​2 12-ton CCKW trucks used by the U.S. military during World War II and the Korean War.

Dragon dance Traditional dance in Chinese culture performed by a team of dancers who manipulate a long flexible figure of a dragon

Dragon dance is a form of traditional dance and performance in Chinese culture. Like the lion dance, it is most often seen in festive celebrations. The dance is performed by a team of experienced dancers who manipulate a long flexible figure of a dragon using poles positioned at regular intervals along the length of the dragon. The dance team simulates the imagined movements of this river spirit in a sinuous, undulating manner.

There are also torchlight parades held in Dorset towns in the United Kingdom in August.

See also


Ndocciata is an ancient Christmas festival celebrated in Molise, southern Italy, specifically in the city of Agnone. On the evening of December 24 the “Ndocciata” of Agnone is a parade of a great number of “‘ndocce” (torches), structures with a typical fanwise shape, made of silver fir pinewood pallets. They may be only one torch or, more often, with multiple torches up to twenty fires. Four metres high, “‘ndocce” are transported by different carriers dressed in traditional costumes. The big bell of St. Anthony’s Church is rung, and groups from the cities’ districts consisting of hundreds of carriers of all ages, light their ndocce (torches) to set off along the main streets which thus becomes what locals call a “river of fire.” There is a choral participation and bagpipers along the roads of the village, and groups compete in order to have the biggest and the most beautiful “‘ndocce”. The procession ends with a bonfire called “Bonfire of Brotherhood” at Plebiscite Square where a Nativity scene is displayed.

Molise Region of Italy

Molise is a region of Southern Italy. Until 1963, it formed part of the region of Abruzzi e Molise, alongside the region of Abruzzo. The split, which did not become effective until 1970, makes Molise the youngest region in Italy. The region covers 4,438 square kilometres (1,714 sq mi) and has a population of 313,348

Italy republic in Southern Europe

Italy, officially the Italian Republic, is a country in Southern and Western Europe. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia and the enclaved microstates San Marino and Vatican City. Italy covers an area of 301,340 km2 (116,350 sq mi) and has a largely temperate seasonal and Mediterranean climate. With around 61 million inhabitants, it is the fourth-most populous EU member state and the most populous country in Southern Europe.

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