SEATTLE - Seafair President Beth Knox has announced that Seattle musician Duff McKagan will be this year’s Grand Marshal of the Alaska Airlines Seafair Torchlight Parade.
This year’s parade is on Saturday, July 28, at 7:30 p.m. As always, it starts at Seattle Center and heads downtown along Fourth Avenue on a 2-1/2 mile route.
McKagan is best known as the founding bassist of Guns N’ Roses. He played with the band for 12 years and has played in numerous other bands including Loaded and Velvet Revolver. He is author of the book It's So Easy: and other lies that was published in October, 2011.
He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year as a member of Guns N' Roses.
Knox described the Seattle native as a huge fan of the city and Seafair.
“Duff is a huge Seattle fan, he loves all things Seattle, including Seafair. He grew up enjoying the hydroplane races and coming to the Torchlight Parade,” said Knox.
McKagan is also a writer for local newspapers and is often heard on sports radio. He hopes to see a NBA team back in Seattle, Knox said.
“He’s just a big advocate for all things Seattle,” Knox said. “One of the things he’s most excited about is being knighted by our Seafair Queen and King Neptune.”
Seafair’s official kickoff is on Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Westlake Center’s south plaza.
Master of Ceremonies Pat Cashman will commemorate the start of the 63rd Seafair season by introducing 2012 Seafair Royalty King Neptune LXIII and Queen Alcyone XVI.
The first knightings of the year will include KIRO 7 Traffic Anchor Jenni Hogan, who is participating in the Michelob ULTRA Seafair Torchlight Run, and Hydroplane & Raceboat Museum Executive Director David Williams.
The legend of Seafair will be read and a vintage hydroplane will be on display along with Seafair posters, pocket schedules and merchandise.
Click here to buy Torchlight Parade Fourth Avenue or Westlake bleacher tickets.