By Nancy Covert
The most distinctive entry in Steilacoom’s traditional July 4th parade this past Monday? A Viking Ship, complete with a horned-helmeted crew (above).
Actually, it was a replica of a Viking long boat, complete with a carved prow and decorated with U.S. and Norwegian flags, that carried members of Scandinavian families from Lakewood, University Place, and Stevanger, Norway.
The Norwegian contingent of the crew, according to Peter Gulsrud of Lakewood, was wrapping up the final portion of their West Coast visit, by taking part in the community parade.
“The summer reunion,” Gulsrud said, “began two years ago when U.S. members of the family traveled to Norway to meet Scandinavian relatives. The following year some of the Norwegians returned the favor, and this summer, members of the Boe family toured the West Coast.
The Boe family had been in the U.S. since early June, Gulsrud said, visiting relatives before returning home with lots of memories of their American adventure.
Steilacoom’s popular community parade, sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce, also included Nancy Henderson, its 2011 Citizen of the Year. Henderson has led the town’s parks clean-up activities for the past two years and is unopposed for a seat on the Town Council this year. Kiwanis of Steilacoom chose her for the parade honor.
Hundreds of parade watchers lined the route, from Rainier Street, to Main Street, and along Lafayette Street.
According to Parade coordinator Veva Maddox, this year’s celebration included 99 entries including a Joint Honor Guard from JB Lewis-McChord, Grand Marshal Col. Richard Moore, Vice Commander of the 62nd Airlift Wing, and Mrs. Moore, with music provided by the 56th Army Band. Dave Hall served as Parade Announcer.
The Heimana Hawaiian float, “Our Town Luau,” provided a demonstration as it promoted this weekend’s upcoming luau party at the Steilacoom Community Center.
Parade Coordinator Veva Maddox has coordinated the popular 4th of July event for more than 20 years.
“We start marking the streets at 8 a.m. on the day of the parade,” she said.
By 11 p.m. the last of the community-sponsored fireworks had exploded, and residents and out-of-town visitors were on their way home.