72nd Annual Derby Days Festival to feature centennial activities: Annual summer festival kicks off on Friday
By SAMANTHA PAK
Redmond Reporter Reporter
July 11, 2012 · Updated 11:28 AM
This year's festival will be Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Redmond City Hall Campus at 15670 N.E. 85th St. downtown and Lisa Rhodes, events and marketing administrator for the city, said the biggest item on the agenda they will have this year is a third day of activities.
"This is the first year in decades, many decades, that we've had all three days (of the weekend)," she said.
Rhodes said the festival's Derby Dash 5K run/walk along the Sammamish River Trail, which benefits the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, has been held on Sunday the past two years but that has been the extent of the day's activities. This year, there will be a Sunday Concert in the Park event at Downtown Park, located at 16101 Redmond Way. The concert will be from 4-8 p.m. and feature local "X Factor" finalist, LeRoy Bell. Rhodes said in addition to closing Derby Days, the concert will kick off a Sunday Concert in the Park series that will take place in Downtown Park this summer.
She said city officials are not sure if they will continue with Sunday activities for future Derby Days because it will depend on if they receive enough sponsors to support a third day.
Derby Days will be Friday from 6-10 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to noon and 4-8 p.m.
Also in honor of Redmond's centennial, this year's Grand Parade on Saturday will feature members of the city's founding families as grand marshals. Rhodes said there are more than 80 entries for the parade, adding that they are also welcoming back three of Redmond's former mayors: Christine Himes, Doreen Marchione and Rosemarie Ives. There will also be four past Derby Days queens, who were crowned based on their fundraising abilities.
The first 100 kids to register for Saturday's Kids Parade, which will be at 10 a.m. and precede the Grand Parade, will receive a limited edition centennial flag to put on their bikes during the parade.
Derby Days has been on a growing trend in the last two years and Rhodes said this year is no exception. She said the city has more parade entries they have had in a decade and expect more than 2,000 participants in the Kids Parade.
This year's Derby Days will have flashback to the past with old-fashioned activities such as cherry pit-spitting, watermelon-eating and pie-eating contests. There will also be a penny candy store and a station for kids to create a centennial time capsule.
Rhodes said also new this year is the sponsor for the Derby Days Criterium, the nation's longest-running bicycle race. This year's sponsor is Swedish Medical Center and she said this has allowed them to raise the prize money to $10,000 — making it the largest prize in Washington. Races start at 1:15 p.m. with the last race at 7 p.m.
"It helped raise us to a higher level," she said about the bigger prize attracting more competitors from outside of Redmond.
In addition, this year's carnival rides and games will be in a new location at the City Hall Campus Park and Ride on 160th Avenue Northeast. Hours of operation are Friday 5-10 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Rhodes said this was one of the top three requests they have received concerning the festival — people have wanted to bring the carnival rides closer to the rest of the activities.
"It has been a trek and it has been a bit of a disconnect for people," Rhodes said.
Another issue she said the event has faced in the past has been the limited parking. This year, parking will be available at the City Hall parking garage, Old Redmond Schoolhouse Community Center at 16600 N.E. 80th St., Redmond Town Center and at two new locations: Overlake Christian Church, 9900 Willows Rd. N.E. and Redmond High School at 17272 N.E. 104th St. A free shuttle will run on Saturday from the parking sites from 9 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
For more information and a full list of activities and events, visit www.redmondderbydays.com.Contact Redmond Reporter Reporter Samantha Pak at firstname.lastname@example.org or 425-867-0353, ext. 5052.