SEATTLE - Seattle’s favorite summertime tradition, Seafair, kicked off Sunday morning at Westlake Park. Each year Seafair crowns one man and one woman to reign over the city of Seattle and represent the festival as King Neptune and Queen Alcyone.
During Sunday’s kickoff event, it was announced that former Seattle Seahawks player Marcus Trufant will be this year’s King Neptune and former Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire will be this year’s Queen Alcyone.
The pair was chosen based on their philanthropic contributions to the Puget Sound region and their ability to inspire the communities in which they live. The couple encourages residents and visitors to take part in Seafair festivities and celebrate the community spirit of greater Seattle.
"How's it feel Chris?" the emcee asked.
"Really royal,” she replied as the crowd laughed.
Their first royal duty was to knight famous Seattlite -- businessman, sausage king and hydroplane racer Larry Oberto.
We're weeks away from Seafair's hydroplane and-- new this year-- paddleboard races, but you could call today a warm-up. Dozens of people raced through downtown Seattle pulling mini-hydros. They even set a world record.
"There have been no attempts, Seafair will be the first,” Seafair CEO Beth Knox told KIRO 7.
The newly crowned king and queen presided over today's festivities and will do the same at almost every Seafair event this summer.
"Anything for the community. I'm from the area, born and raised here, so it's a really big deal to be part of something this big,” Trufant told KIRO 7 after the ceremony.
Gregoire hopes you'll want to be a part of it too.
"Feel proud, have fun, bring the family out and enjoy,” Gregoire concluded.
Another Seattle tradition is the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon and Half Marathon, which will be held at 7 a.m. Saturday.