Countdown begins for Seafair Torchlight Parade

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SEATTLE - The countdown begins for Saturday night’s Alaska Airlines Seafair Torchlight Parade.

Crews have spent hours setting up for the event, and people started as early as Friday night to stake out their viewing spots.

KIRO 7 Eyewitness News reporter Frank Field spoke with Renee Harper-Fort, whose family has been watching the parade for 20 years. She saved their prime spot to watch the annual Seafair action early Saturday morning.

“It’s different every year. All the floats, dancing. Just a joyful day,” said Harper-Fort.

The parade route starts at Seattle Center and goes through Fourth Avenue to Pioneer Square.

Former Seattle SuperSonics player Gary "the Glove" Payton is the parade’s Grand Marshal.

"I'm gonna make up my own rules,” said Payton. "I will take pictures, I will shake hands, I will hug, I will kiss, whatever you want.”

There will also be a camera pointed at Payton during the parade.

KIRO 7 and kirotv.com will have exclusive live coverage of Saturday’s events with KIRO 7 Eyewitness News at 5 p.m., then the pre-parade show will kick off at 6:30 p.m. with the Michelob ULTRA Seafair Torchlight Run and the parade starting at 8 p.m.