Saying “Arrrr” in your finest pirate voice is a signature of the Beach Drive Buccaneers. Their proudest moments come every July Fourth as they anchor the parade and lead the post-holiday cleanup, too. Just look for the all-terrain vehicle on the beach with the pirate flag.
The statewide beach cleanup team, SOLVE, provides the bags to the Buccaneers, who share it with Seaside’s thousands of Independence Day visitors. By midday today, they will have collected 12 to 15 tons of trash. The Buccaneers are SOLVE’s largest distributor of trash bags.
For the Fourth of July parade, early birds had lawn chairs in place by 9 a.m., with red, white and blue banners, flags and bunting everywhere.
Led by a Seaside Police car and followed by the Boy Scouts, the march kicked off at 11 a.m. from the corner of 12th and Necanicum, heading up Holladay to Broadway under cloudy skies and chilly temperatures.
Seaside Mayor Jay Barber rode alongside City Councilor Tita Montero as Councilors Tom Horning, Seth Morrissey and Steve Wright passed out flags.
Newly crowned Miss Oregon Harley Emery rode proudly, followed in the lineup by Miss Clatsop County Hannah Garhofer and representatives of the Miss Oregon Scholarship Pageant.
Kevin Leahy, representing the Astoria Regatta, led a group including chaperone Amber Hill and Aubrey McMahan — last year’s Regatta queen. Seaside’s Sydney Ordway joined princesses on the float.
“Here we are five years running — it’s a great parade!” Leahy said.
Coastal author Honey Perkel added a literary note with a recurring parade appearance, while “Wonder Woman” from the Inverted Experience, Seaside’s newest Broadway tourist attraction, garnered attention. Bigfoot, Ghostbusters and the Lion King marched, too.
And everybody had candy: taffy, lollipops and gummies.
Youth was definitely featured, from Portland’s King Sun School drill team, the Tsunami Skippers, of Seaside, Astoria and Cannon Beach, and the littlest ones, from Mrs. Tami’s Daycare and Preschool.
Jackson Januik, the Gulls basketball standout named the Class 4A Player of the Year, joined teammates on float featuring the Gulls championship basketball team. It was his first parade, Januik said. “It’s fun seeing all the people.”
Members of Clatsop County’s Sons of Beaches and the Legion Riders held sway on their big trucks, while members of “We Are Indivisible” joined the parade for the first time.
“We’re promoting democracy,” said member Joyce Hunt. “And keeping our nation going in the right direction.”
The Beach Drive Buccaneers, meanwhile were marching and doing their jobs handing out beach bags. By the time they reached First Avenue and Holladay, they had passed out more than 1,000 cleanup bags — and “we’re only halfway in the parade,” Gini Dideum said.
With the sun pushing through the clouds for a day of sunshine and fireworks ahead for the evening, the Buccaneers’ cleanup crews would have their work cut out for them. But nobody seemed to mind.
“People are always so excited to be in the parade, to have fun and to showcase their vehicles or their kids,” Dideum said. “It’s always fun!”