Langley’s annual Holly Jolly Parade rolled out Saturday bathed in sunshine and community spirit from all quarters.
Pirates, pipers, politicians, poodles, ballerinas, businesses, Girl Scouts and goats were well represented. Also spotted along the three-block route — artists, actors, countless canines, two Kris Kringles and one pink hare.
Grand Marshal Michael Davidson, recently named president of the Langley Chamber of Commerce board of directors, rode with his family practicing one of his new responsibilities — the parade wave.
Mr. South Whidbey 2018, Larry Johnson, also received the royal treatment of a golf cart entourage. He sat alongside a severe-looking but popular pirate who gave his name as “Admiral Killdevil.”
“Yes, I’m here to be jolly,” he said. “I fly the Jolly Roger, after all.”
The Washington Scottish Pipe Band, based in Seattle, has been part of Langley’s Christmas parade since its beginning 11 years ago.
“We’ve played in cold, under 30 degrees,” said bagpiper Jim Guthrie (no relation to this Record reporter). “It’s rained on us, it’s snowed on us and today, the sun is coming out. Unbelievable.”
And with that, the band banged off, huffing out holiday tunes, such as “Oh, Come All Ye Faithful.”
The Whidbey Island Homesteaders, a 4-H club that’s goat-centric, provided many memorable moments and photo ops when little kids on leashes checked out little kids on sidewalks eating lollipops.
The South Whidbey High School Jazz Band won an award for spirit and community, one of three $100 awards given out by the Chamber of Commerce.
“They played at the Nov. 24 Lighting of Langley, at their own wreath fundraiser the morning of the parade and then during the parade,” said Inge Morascini, chamber executive director. “This was their first time marching and playing and they did an amazing job.”
The “Go Blue” loud, proud and shimmering pep float of South Whidbey Schools also won for spirit while the cast of costumed characters from Island Dance Theatre’s “The Nutcracker” snagged the category of unique.
Some 40 entrants with 250 people — and at least a dozen dogs and 10 goats — participated in the parade, estimated Morascini.
“This is the most vehicles ever registered,” she said.
Some entrants were big and boisterous and some seemed out for a family stroll.
“We wanted to get into the spirit of the community,” said June Kristanovich, who somehow trekked in curled-up gold sequined elf shoes. “We did the rainbow LGBT Pride Parade in the spring and that was so much fun so we signed up for this one.”
Among businesses and organizations marching by included Whidbey Island Fair, Island Transit, Whidbey Art Gallery, South Whidbey Rotary Club and a crowd of “Big Gig” costumed staff with Whidbey Telecom, celebrating 110 years of business.
Santa Claus, waving and winking, riding high up on a fire truck, provided the traditional ending to the 45-minute affair.
But another St. Nick —- admittedly a scrawnier version in body and beard — also sat in the Habitat for Humanity float.
Some kids may have been a tad confused. But officials assured the public that there was no “clause for concern.”
“Santa can move pretty fast (quick like a bunny) and appear as if he is in two places at once,” Langley Mayor Tim Callison said. “But remember, Santa is not part of the city’s governmental structure.”
Morascini offered another explanation:
“We had a rogue Santa, a young whippersnapper trying to upstage the real guy,” she said. “But the smart kids of Langley know the only real Santa arrives on a fire truck. They weren’t fooled.”