MARCH 24, 1997
Jim Detjen (right), a personal escort of President Clinton, was on hand to play Grace's anthem and lead the parade down Highway 9. "Beats the inaugural parade," Detjen was overheard saying.
Julia Johns, Miss Grace, rode in her father's restored fire engine in the parade.
Photos by Andrew Walgamott/Northwest News.
by Andrew Walgamott
The Mystical Township of Grace held its fourth annual town meeting and St. Patrick's Day Parade last Monday with participants and viewers from as far as Woodinville; Tucson, Arizona; Wessen, Germany; and Butte, Montana, for the tongue-in-cheek festivities.
Without a restaurant, or even a drive-through taco shack of their own, the forefathers held their State of Grace meeting at the Maltby Cafe. Jim Detjen, a personal escort of President Bill Clinton, was on hand to play Grace's anthem, "Amazing Grace," on the bagpipes. Detjen is a 1994 graduate of Inglemoor High School.
On a somewhat serious note, Barbara Jenkins and Juliane Schmidt of Hos Brothers Construction accepted the first Spirit of Grace award. Employees of HOS donated $14,000 to buy toys and bikes for foster children during the last holiday season, decorated a Hos truck, and took the presents into Seattle.
In the spirit of a Gracian acceptance speech, Jenkins said of the award, "This is great; it's bigger than the one we got from Woodinville, or the governor, for that matter."
Mayor-for-life Terry Jarvis and Hugo P. Jonsen, a.k.a. John Hughes, passed Grace's sign code ordinance. "We'll allow any kind of sign, as long as it isn't a tacky, purple, bell-shaped sign," said Jarvis.
Also, Mayor-for-Life Terry Jarvis gave the annual State of Grace speech, keeping it to just nine words, "Ladies and gentlemen, it never rains on our parade."
After breakfast, it was time for the parade. The route followed Highway 9 from Fitz Auto Parts to Vintage Auto Parts. By some estimates, the parade lasted as long as eight minutes. A fire truck and ambulance led the way several minutes earlier than scheduled.
"We really want to thank the Woodinville Fire & Life Safety District for clearing the way for us," said parade judge Glen Kelly.
Actually, the two WFLSD vehicles had to make an early exit due to an aid call. The Grace Fire Department unfortunately had parade duty and couldn't offer support, according to Don Fitz, acting Police Chief of Grace.
A crowd of 175 spectators, by some estimates, lined SR-9 to watch nearly 40 vehicles, ranging from Cadillac convertibles to VW bugs, from tow trucks to minivans, stream down the highway. Becky McIntosh, who bought her way into Grace for $50, was the Grand Marshal. Miss Grace, five-year-old Julia Johns, rode in her father's restored fire engine, one of two in the Grace Fire Department.
Fitz said Grace plans to hold a parade next year. "It will probably be bigger than ever, being the fifth year and all," he said.
Hugo Jonsen (John Hughes) noted Grace's humble desires for St. Patrick's Day. "Our goal is to fill up the Maltby Cafe and have an eight-minute parade."