Torchlight Parade returns Saturday with festival, earlier start

28 July 2023

Seafair festivities are back with the 74th Torchlight Parade returning to Seattle on Saturday.

It’s a long-standing tradition near and dear to the Pacific Northwest and this year, things will be a bit different.

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This year, the parade kicks off at 3 p.m. and there’s a festival at Westlake Park at 1 p.m.

Organizers said they want to offer families more and that’s why there will be a festival prior to the parade.

“We wanted to include some entertainment and food so people wanted to come down to Westlake Park at 1 p.m. We have our Torchlight Parade Festival starting there at 1 p.m. with a parade kicking off at 3 p.m.,” said Seafair Marketing Director, Lauren Carter.

The route is the same, with the parade starting at Seattle Center, then making its way down Fourth Avenue to South Washington Street.

Seafair organizers say the parade will be better than ever, with more than 100 entries participating, from clowns and the legendary Seafair Pirates to drill teams, dragon dancers and equestrian units.

“I don’t want to say it’s back, but it’s better. I think that people are excited people want to get out. What we’ve seen from our Amazon Seafair Fourth of July and then what we’re seeing with ticket sales now, it just seems like people are ready to get out and have fun this summer,” said Carter.

This year, floats will be staged at Pier 91 from 2 to 3 p.m. Friday. During that hour, you can get behind-the-scenes peeks at the floats before they appear in the main event.

KIRO 7′s coverage of the Alaska Airlines Torchlight Parade begins Saturday at 3 p.m.

You can watch it live on KIRO 7 or streaming on the KIRO 7 apps for your phone or smart TV.

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