By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News
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■ Elks' Rhody Fundraiser Pancake Breakfast, 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. — Port Townsend Elks Lodge, 555 Otto St.
■ Jim Caldwell Memorial Rhody Open, 9 a.m. — Port Townsend Golf Course, 1948 Blaine St.
■ Rhody Run Registration, 9 a.m. — Fort Worden State Park.
■ Kids Sprint for Health, 9:30 a.m. — Fort Worden.
■ 36th annual Rhody Run, 11 a.m. — Mini-marathon of 12 kilometers, or 7.45 miles, beginning at Fort Worden State Park. Race day registration is $45 for adults and $15 for those younger than 15.
The two-hour parade had 106 entries, including 10 bands and eight festival floats.
There was no official crowd estimate, although parade organizer Rita Hubbard said “there was way more than last year.”
“God loves Rhody,” Hubbard said.
“Every year, there is the 'wow' factor, which this year came from the cat loader from Port Townsend Paper. It took up the whole street,” she added.
“People came out. They showed up, and everyone is having a great time.”
It even had a poignant entry as Port Townsend High School alumni rode the parade brandishing the Redskins mascot for the last time in a Rhody Festival.
The parade began by the Port Townsend Fire Station on Lawrence Street, headed north and turned east on Monroe Street and south on Water Street.
At the parade's end, some floats turned right and parked on Washington Street while others headed straight through town giving tourists and locals an added bonus.
“The neat thing about this parade is that anything goes,” said Chimacum High School Principal Whitney Meissner.
“You don't see any particular theme. Everyone comes and is themselves.
“You see people playing dodgeball, riding bicycles and blowing bubbles,” she said, rattling off descriptions of what was in sight at the time.
The parade's grand marshal was the Port Townsend Alumni Association, which paid final tribute to Port Townsend High School's retired Redskins mascot, removed because the symbol was deemed offensive to Native Americans.
The new mascot is the Redhawks.
Some long-time residents are still unhappy with the change, Redskins supporters put on a mini parade with eight cars, two motorcycles and 10 people walking,
“This is bittersweet,” said marcher Mark McCready of the sendoff.
“It's a sad situation when personal politics trumps tradition.”
At the end of the parade people gathered in Pope Marine Park for the second annual Cake Picnic where 4,000 pieces of cake were served.
Jefferson County Editor Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or email@example.com.