Redmond Derby Days 2013
This weekend, Redmond held its Derby Days summer festival, initiating the annual event with parades, music, food and other entertainment. Redmond is also celebrating its 73rd anniversary of Derby Days, continuing the traditions that have made this event widely anticipated and highly acclaimed in the City of Redmond and beyond.
For those who are new to this celebration, the Redmond Derby Days is an annual summer festival that originally started in 1939. It is a two-day event, in which there are a variety of events for the city to enjoy. No matter the age, there are numerous activities and events that your are bound to have a good time.
Beginning mass set-up on Friday morning, Derby Days began at 5pm Friday evening with the Redmond Town Center Arts Festival, the carnival, and the beer and wine garden located outside city hall. There was a multitude of places to go, events to see, and delicious food to eat. As the night fell, there was an outdoor movie screening, where visitors enjoyed the rest of their evening watching a family friendly movie on the accommodating City Hall lawn.
On Saturday morning, locals and visitors gathered and watched enthusiastically as the kid's parade, and the Grand parade, went by in a wave of vibrant color, fun and excitement.
Children were free to participate in the kid's parade, as well as their families and pets. Local businesses and other groups sponsored parade floats. Celebrating the parades since their humble beginnings in 1940, this year's parades successfully maintained the same level of festivity while instilling a sense of community within its viewers.
Along with the parades, there was the Derby Days 5k Dash, and the Criterium bike race, both following routes around the main festival area.
In the City hall parking lot, local businesses and groups had set up tents to promote their services and community events. Groups like the Redmond Police Department and Pudget Sound energy had set up tents to increase awareness about their actions in regards to community improvement. Political Parties had also set up tents to help promote candidates for the upcoming elections. Tents publicizing government policy for community changes were present. Chess4Life had set up a large chessboard for visitors to play with. The Ananda Mela event had also set up a booth to spread awareness for their upcoming festival later in July. Alongside these tents were various local groups such as Redmond High-school Drama team, who where promoting their recent theater work.
Depending on the sponsor, tents will have interactive activities for the public, and will sometimes offer promotions or exclusive handouts upon visit.
Outside the Redmond Senior Center parking lot, adults and children enjoyed the carnival attractions that had been set up. There were several theme park styled rides, as well as inflatable bouncy houses aimed for younger visitors. Alongside the rides, Derby Days had arranged several carnival booths such as a photo booth, a ring toss, popcorn and cotton candy truck, and a prize stall with a variety of winnable trinkets and goodies.
Outside City hall, food vendors had set up tents, luring hungry visitors with the aroma of their delicious food and drinks. The weather was nearly perfect for the food choices, and while there was little variety, one could find something good and adequate.
Food ranged from mouthwatering hotdogs and curly fries to sugary elephant ears and refreshing shaved ice.
Visitors scattered across the City Hall lawn to sit down to enjoy their food and company. Across from the lawn was live entertainment, including a variety of fun, lively music. Across from the lawn was a covered area with seats and tables. However, visitors embraced the great sunny weather and sat with their friends and family on the grass and along pathways. Despite the large number of people attending the event, the crowd flowed well between the attractions. As always, there was plenty of space to walk, talk and eat.
Parking was a small issue, as most of the streets around City Hall were blocked off. Yet, one can find parking in the City Hall parking garage, as well as in the Redmond Town Center.
In the evening, Derby Days culminated with a short fireworks display, leaving visitors eager for next year's festival. For those new to this event, fear not. Next year, Redmond Derby Days will continue the traditions, and will bring back the same fun and enjoyment for all.
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