BELLINGHAM Thousands marched down Cornwall Avenue and thousands swarmed the sidewalks Friday evening, May 18, for the Ski to Sea Junior Parade, the first event proper of the annual festival.
Moms pulled their kids in small Red Flyer and John Deere wagons, pushed their sons in strollers, pulled their girls by the hand. and the girls, dressed as fairies, swatted at bubbles with their wands. A tattooed dad took pictures of his kids from a skateboard.
anyone was welcome to march, starting in the general area of Bellingham High School, where the air smelled sweet with kettle corn and cotton candy, and pockets of students carried green, orange and purple balloons, to match their school colors.
Andru Gnuthake, 8, and Sophia Karber, 9, twirled pinwheels and waved from the front of the prizewinner for best large float – a giant hot air balloon (or beach ball, the kids weren’t quite sure), tugged by a red Toyota Tacoma.
“It feels like we’re in the air,” said Gnuthake, a student at the Trinity Lutheran Vacation Bible School that put the float together.
the Blaine Borderite marching band blared “Louie, Louie,” stripping it back to just the trumpets and drums for a couple measures before the rest of the band kicked back in.
“Bobcat pride! Bobcat pride!” chanted Cordata Elementary School kids with black and gray whiskers painted on their faces.
near the back of the swarm identical twins Mike and Chris Rogge – 8-year-olds wearing matching Cub Scout Pack 20 uniforms and matching glasses – pumped on an antique railway handcar, set on a flatbed trailer.
“It’s supposed to look like it’s powering the truck,” they both said, one echoing the other.
Caleb Whiting, 10, the pack’s den leader, said they could really get that handcar going, if they wanted to.
“Depends,” he said matter-of-factly, adjusting his sunglasses, “on how much horsepower you use.”
WINNING FLOATSGrand Prize: Compass 2 Campus, with the theme creating the Future – Whatcom Family BlossomsBest Large Float: Trinity Lutheran, for “Airplane & Balloon Up in the Air”Best Small Float: Northern Heights “Grows Great Children”Best Novelty: Alligator Float, by Mazelle KuplentBest Pet: Ballet Bellingham, for two black dogs dressed in pink tank topsBest Decorated Bike: Captain America, red, white and blue bikes, coordinated by Henry CageyBest Group: Alderwood Elementary SchoolJudges’ Awards: Wade King Elementary’s recorder kazoo band; Children’s Co-op Farm & Garden; Team Intense Racing (6- to 12-year-old kids on motocross bikes)Best Bands: Blaine Borderites Middle School (first); Meridian Middle School (second); Ferndale Middle School (third).
UPCOMING COVERAGESunday, May 20: Ski to Sea Junior race results and photos.Friday, May 25: Special 52-page Ski to Sea preview section; how to get to this year’s Fairhaven Festival.Saturday, May 26: Guide to watching the Grand Parade, including entry list.Sunday, May 27: Grand Parade photos and coverage.Memorial Day: Ski to Sea special section featuring photos from all seven race legs.
BUY PHOTOS2012 Ski to Sea photos printed in the Bellingham Herald or that appear online at BellinghamHerald.com can be purchased for gifts or personal use. To order a photo, find it on BellinghamHerald.com and just click the “Buy Photo” link at the end of the photo caption.
Reach CALEB HUTTON at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 360-715-2276.