Big crowd cheers Renton River Days parade; Liberty Park bustles
July 28, 2012 · Updated 7:02 PM
By Rochelle Adams
For the Renton Reporter
The IKEA Renton River Days parade began Saturday morning with blaring police sirens and flashing lights. Police officers on motorcycles led the procession down Third Avenue as locals lined the street, sitting on blankets and fold out chairs.
A variety of groups followed ranging from fire fighters to veterans and pirates to clowns.
“I love it,” Marcus Lee Jones said of the parade. He attended the event for the first time this year to see his daughter perform during the parade with the Dangerettes Drill Team. “I love seeing everybody’s community coming together and doing their thing.”
He particularly enjoyed the beginning of the parade with the police.
“I got law enforcement in my family,” Jones said.
Crowd members screamed as the Seafair Pirates ship float let out an explosive crack like a canon and shot smoke into the air.
“Everybody loves the pirates,” said Sean Levias, who has attended Renton River Days every year since 2003. “That big boom always scares the kids so we have to teach them when to hold their ears and everything, but it’s fun.”
Levias said he was enjoying the drill teams, the clowns and bands, with his favorite being the Seahawks Blue Thunder Drumline.
While the group performed, Levias clapped in time with the drums cheered.
“I’ve been in drill team since I was a kid,” he said. “I love bands. I used to be a drum major back in the day. It’s something I love and am passionate about.”
River Days continues Sunday at Liberty Park and nearby venues, with the Rubber Ducky Derby at 4:30 p.m. off the Houser Street bridge over the Cedar River.
The festival portion of the event takes place at Liberty Park with face painting, a petting zoo, live musical performances, a food court and several other activities.
The petting zoo attracted several children and adults who waited to take their turn at feeding and petting the animals.
Eight-year-old Cameron Brown asked if he could buy one of the goats as a grey and white goat ate feed from his palm. His mother Taryn Lewis said no, but bought him more treats to feed the goat with.
“This is what River Days is about,” Brown said.
Lewis and Brown attend the event every year for the zoo as well as the vendors and other activities.
“There are a lot of things for him to do,” she said. “He just enjoys coming down and doing all this stuff and eating and seeing all the people.”
Peter Goss attended the Renton River Days with his wife and two children. They attended the event last year and decided to come again this year after reading about it in the newspaper.
“We love it,” he said. “It’s a lot of fun. The kids are old enough now that they really enjoy the kids activities and just hanging out and having fun.”
The Goss family also enjoyed the food court. While the kids went for the corndogs and ice cream, Goss said his favorite was the stir fry.