Kidding around - Former Wallingford youngsters to return for Kiddies Parade

Every year during Seafair, Wallingford, like many Seattle neighborhoods, hosts its own special events to celebrate.

This year, however, also happens to be Wallingford's centennial. The Wallingford Neighborhood Office and the Wallingford Chamber of Commerce are celebrating the neighborhood's history and the 50-year anniversary of the Seafair Kiddies Parade, an annual Seafair event.

With all the excitement and celebration, the Lincoln Lynx Alumni Association (LLAA) is also preparing for the celebration.

Event organizers approached the LLAA at an Elks Club luncheon, which more than 500 Lincoln alumni attended, about getting as many of its members to participate in the Kiddies Parade. Lincoln High School still has 44,000 graduates in the Seattle area who attended from 1909 to 1981, when the Wallingford school closed.

"We're looking for anyone associated with Lincoln High School to come and participate in this fun event and celebrate Wallingford," said Ray Coffey, a 1969 Lincoln graduate.

Coffey, a former Lincoln drum major, and his former majorette, Bill Jean (Riel) Hagen, formed a Lincoln Alumni Marching Band for the parade. They located many former musicians to come and participate in this one-time event.

The Seattle School District also is arranging to have drums, xylophones and glockenspiels in the parade for former band members to use.

The LLAA also has a drill team, flag/banner carriers and "Song and Yell" leaders.

"We're going to be wearing school colors again," Coffey boasted.

Coffey, who works for the King County Department of Transportation, is arranging to have one of the historic buses in the parade painted with the school colors: red, black and white. It will be used to transport some of the elderly alumni who wish to be involved in the parade.

Rick Coffey, Ray's brother and president of the Classic Oldsmobile Club, owns 19 classic cars. He is arranging to have several of the cars - those painted red, white or black - to be involved in the parade to transport Mr. Lincolns and Miss Lincolns in the parade.

Ray Coffey has been involved in the Seafair Kiddies Parade for years, in many different capacities.

"As a little child, I was in the parade as early as 6 years old," Coffey said. "Later, I was in the All-City Marching Band in the summer. It's kind of like going back to old history."

Lincoln High School alumni who are interested in participating with the band, drill team or as flag or banner carriers should contact Ray Coffey at

Also, visit the LLAA website at, which provides more information and contacts.

Of course, all children - not just Lincoln alumni - are invited to participate in the Kiddies Parade. Costumes are encouraged, but not required. The parade will consist of drill teams, bands, clowns, pirates and Seafair Princesses.

The parade will occur at 11 a.m. on July 10, at Wallingford Avenue North, between North 44th and 45th streets.

The festival's street fair will last from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. with a smorgasbord of vendors selling popcorn, hot dogs, jewelry, art and pottery.

According to Wallingford Neighborhood Office executive director Janet Stillman, most of the activities will be geared to children. For instance, a child-size train set will run up and down Wallingford Avenue. "Bouncy houses," large, blown-up structures also will be around for children to play in.

Hillary Rossi contributed to this story.

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