Redmond's Derby Days draws thousands to celebrate city's centennial
By SAMANTHA PAK
Redmond Reporter Reporter
July 16, 2012 · Updated 4:11 PM
From youngsters participating in their first Kids Parade, to members of the city's founding families coming to town for a reunion, to a gubernatorial candidate stopping by to meet voters, a wide variety of people came out to enjoy Redmond's Derby Days Summer Festival last weekend.
In addition to celebrating its 72nd year, this year's festival also celebrated the City of Redmond's 100th birthday with a third day of activities and events on Sunday.
Starting with a carnival, live music and movie screening at City Hall Friday night and ending with a concert featuring local "X Factor" finalist LeRoy Bell Sunday evening, the action-packed weekend had a little something for everyone.
One of the highlights was the Kids Parade, a Derby Days tradition since its inception in 1940.
John the Clown, who has lived in Redmond since 1967, remembers pulling his daughter in the parade when she was a toddler - she is now in her 30s. Although his daughter is grown, John said he attends Derby Days and the parade every year and has only missed a few since the early 1970s.
"I love small town parades," the clown said. "We have fun."
Although John has attended the festival for decades, it is clear he still enjoys it as he greets and shakes hands with kids as they pass by on bikes and in strollers (above).
Jack Loveland participated in the Kids Parade for the first time this year and could barely contain his excitement as he showed off his bike decorated in red, white and blue.
"My mom helped," the 5-year-old said proudly adding that he enjoyed "riding with (his) friend and cousin."
Another highlight of Jack's Derby Days experience was the Redmond Fire Department Pancake Breakfast as he got to try out some of the firefighters' equipment.
"When we were there, a fire truck went out on a call," he said.
While Jack enjoyed the parade and breakfast, Daniel Rashevsky said one of his favorite parts of Derby Days is walking around the City Hall campus and visiting the various booths. This year, the 10-year-old made a time capsule at the Eastside Heritage Center booth to be opened at a later date in honor of Redmond's centennial (below).
Daniel added that he also enjoys the annual fireworks finale that closes Derby Days.
"I love it," he said.
This year's Grand Parade featured more than 80 entries, a number of which acknowledged Redmond's centennial, wishing the city a happy 100th birthday. The parade's grand marshals (below) were members of the Perrigo family, one of Redmond's founding families. Other members of the family marched in the parade as well. Later in the day, the Perrigos gathered at the Old Redmond Schoolhouse Community Center for a 10-year reunion.
Jay Inslee (below), the Democratic candidate in the state's race for governor, also attended Derby Days on Saturday. Although he could potentially represent all of Washington, he used to serve Redmond as a former U.S. Congressman.
"I wanted to see old friends and new friends," he said about attending Derby Days and participating in the Grand Parade.
Inslee said he has participated in the Grand Parade in the past and one of the things he looks forward to about the parade and Derby Days is meeting and talking to forward-thinking people in the community.
"I've always enjoyed it," he said.
Contact Redmond Reporter Reporter Samantha Pak at email@example.com or 425-867-0353, ext. 5052.