Button artist draws inspiration from the beach

Grace Ann Lucas is the winning artist in this year
Grace Ann Lucas is the winning artist in this year's contest for designing the Maxwelton Parade button.
— image credit: Photo courtesy of Nancy Waddell

Summers in the sand have paid off for Grace Ann Lucas.

The fourth-grader is the winning artist in this year’s contest for the Maxwelton Parade button — the must-have fashion accessory for anyone attending the annual Independence Day celebration on South Whidbey.

Grace is the daughter of Tim and Kathy Lucas, who have a home on Maxwelton Beach. The 9-year-old is a student at St. Thomas School in Lynnwood, and her winning button design was inspired by the hours she spends building sand castles at the beach.

Grace said the Fourth of July is her second favorite holiday, after Christmas. She likes math, art and recess at school, and also enjoys drama, Girl Scouts, fencing and playing on the computer.

Buttons are a big part of the Maxwelton Parade, said Nancy Waddell, one of the organizers. The sale of the $1 buttons helps cover the costs of sheriff’s deputies, extra portable toilets, shuttle service, insurance and sound equipment, among other items.

The festivities in Maxwelton will start with a free pancake breakfast at 8 a.m. at the fire station on French Road. Fire District 3 firefighters will serve flapjacks until 10 a.m.

Registration for the 96th annual Independence Day Parade begins at 11:30 a.m. Monday the corner of Maxwelton and Swede Hill roads.

The parade starts at 1 p.m. This year’s grand marshal is Richard McGuire — known to most folks at “Mickey” — who will lead this year’s parade with his Chihuahua “Toro.”

Plenty of free parking will be available in the fields behind Maxwelton Farm.

Overflow parking will be available at the Little Brown Church on the corner of Maxwelton and French roads, with a shuttle service bringing parade-goers to Maxwelton from the church.

Maxwelton Road will be open in one direction only, southbound toward Maxwelton, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. July 4, with a pedestrian-bike lane on one side. Drivers going in the opposite direction must use Swede Hill Road.

Parking will not be allowed on Maxwelton Road south of the Little Brown Church, nor on Swede Hill Road. Access below Swede Hill will also be blocked during the parade, from 1 to 2 p.m.

The festivities begin with the flag-raising ceremony by the ballfield. The flag will be raised this year by Frank Hansche, 90, a former Navy officer who is visiting from Arizona and is part of the extended family of Harriet Arnold, a Maxwelton Beach resident.

The National Anthem will be played by Landon Moore, a South Whidbey High School graduate and longtime saxophone player who was a musician in the school’s renowned jazz band.

Following the parade, the  sack races, three-legged races, sprints and an all-comers egg toss at Dave Mackie Park will continue until 3:30 p.m.

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