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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.
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 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 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 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 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 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 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:
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.
The DUKW is a six-wheel-drive amphibious modification of the 2 1⁄2-ton CCKW trucks used by the U.S. military during World War II and the Korean War.
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.
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 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, 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.
Pride parades are outdoor events celebrating lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) culture and pride. The events also at times serve as demonstrations for legal rights such as same-sex marriage. Most pride events occur annually, and many take place around June to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York City, a pivotal moment in modern LGBT social movements.
The Rose Parade, hosted by the Pasadena Tournament of Roses, is an annual parade held mostly along Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena, California, on New Year's Day. Usually beginning in the morning at 8:00 a.m. Pacific Time (UTC–8), it is produced by the non-profit Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association and includes flower-covered floats, marching bands, and equestrian units. The parade is followed in the afternoon by the Rose Bowl, one of the major bowl games in college football.
Norwegian Constitution Day is the national day of Norway and is an official public holiday observed on May 17 each year. Among Norwegians, the day is referred to simply as syttende mai, Nasjonaldagen or Grunnlovsdagen, although the latter is less frequent.
The annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, one of the world's largest parades, is presented by the U.S. based department store chain Macy's. The parade started in 1924, tying it for the second-oldest Thanksgiving parade in the United States with America's Thanksgiving Parade in Detroit. The three-hour parade is held in Manhattan from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Thanksgiving Day, and has been televised nationally on NBC since 1952. Employees at Macy's department stores have the option of marching in the parade.
The Krewe of OAK is a small neighborhood New Orleans Mardi Gras krewe and parade held in the Carrollton neighborhood of New Orleans, Louisiana. The parade starts and ends on Oak Street, presumably the origin of the name, although members say that OAK stands for "Outrageous And Kinky".
The Singapore National Day Parade is a national ceremony in Singapore that, as its name implies, includes a parade on Singapore's National Day on August 9, in commemoration of Singapore's independence that is usually held at the Float @Marina Bay, various decentralized venues all over Singapore, Padang and the National Stadium.
The Pasadena Doo Dah Parade is a popular farcical and flamboyant parade held in Pasadena, California, about once a year, usually in the fall or winter, although in recent years it has moved to the nearest Saturday to May Day. The event has been copied by the Columbus, Ohio, Ocean City, New Jersey, and Kalamazoo, Michigan Doo Dah Parades.
The Solstice Cyclists is an artistic, non-political, clothing-optional bike ride celebrating the Summer Solstice. It is the unofficial start of the Summer Solstice Parade & Pageant, an event produced by the Fremont Arts Council in the Fremont district of Seattle.
Mardi Gras in the United States is not observed nationally across the country, however a number of cities and regions in the U.S. have notable Carnival celebrations. Most trace their Mardi Gras celebrations to French, Spanish, and other colonial influences on the settlements over their history. The earliest Carnival celebration in North America occurred at a place on the west bank of the Mississippi river about 60 miles downriver from where New Orleans is today; this Mardi Gras on the 3rd of March 1699 and in honor of this holiday, Pierre Le Moyne, Sieur d'Iberville, a 38-year-old French Canadian, named the spot Point du Mardi Gras near Fort Jackson. The earliest organized Carnival celebrations occurred in Mobile, Biloxi, New Orleans, and Pensacola, which have each developed separate traditions. In addition, modern activities generally vary from city to city across the U.S.
The Dublin LGBTQ+ Pride Festival is an annual series of events which celebrates lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ+) life in Dublin, Ireland. It is the largest LGBTQ+ pride festival on the island of Ireland. The festival culminates in a pride parade which is held annually on the last Saturday in June. The event has grown from a one-day event in 1974 to a ten-day festival celebrating LGBT culture in Ireland with an expanded arts, social and cultural content.
World Naked Bike Ride (WNBR) Seattle is an umbrella reference for Seattle's collection of local World Naked Bike Ride-affiliated events including WNBR Downtown Seattle Daylight Ride, the permaculture-oriented Gardens Everywhere Bike Parade, WNBR Seattle Night Ride/Cyclonudista Luminata, WNBR West Seattle, WNBR Lake Washington/Seafair Cyclists and Hemp Ride. WNBR Seattle tries to schedule its events to avoid conflicts with local Pacific Northwest clothing-optional bike rides such as local WNBR events, such as those that take place in Bellingham, Washington; Portland, Oregon; Vancouver, British Columbia; Victoria, British Columbia; Olympia, Washington; and Eugene, Oregon, as well as other clothing-optional bike rides such as the Solstice Cyclists and Body Pride Ride as well as rides that have no specific dress code and tolerate clothing-optional participants such as Seattle Critical Mass/Seattle Critical Ass. The rides are also currently scheduled in July, August and September, when Seattle generally has its dependably dry and warmer weather.
The New York City Veterans Day Parade, which is an annual parade produced by the United War Veterans Council (UWVC), is the largest Veterans Day event in the United States of America.
Saint Patrick's Day, although a legal holiday only in Suffolk County, Massachusetts and Savannah, Georgia, is nonetheless widely recognized and celebrated throughout the United States. It is primarily celebrated as a recognition of Irish and Irish American culture; celebrations include prominent displays of the color green, eating and drinking, religious observances, and numerous parades. The holiday has been celebrated on the North American continent since the late 18th century.
Proclamation Day of the Republic of Latvia is celebrated annually on 18 November. It marks the anniversary of the Proclamation of Independence of Latvia by the People's Council of Latvia in 1918.
The National Independence Day Parade also known as the July 4th Parade is an annual military/civilian parade in the National Capital Region of the United States that is held on the occasion of the Forth of July holiday. It is the largest and foremost parade held in the United States during the holiday celebrations. It has historically taken place on the capital's Constitution Avenue and usually goes past many national monuments until the parade one mile parade route ends at 17th Street. The 2 hour parade includes marching bands, military units, floats, balloons, equestrian units, and drill teams. The parade is sponsored by the National Park Service, which organizes the parade events. Annual performers and contingents include the 257th Army Band, the Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps, the joint-services honor guard, officers of the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia, and the representatives of the high schools inside the DCPS.
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