Color film of the 1949 Anacortes Marineers' Pageant
The 1949 Marineer’s Pageant followed the successful formula of the seven previous Anacortes festivals: parade with various floats and marching units, water shows at the Marine Stadium on the east shore of Cap Sante, jalopy races at the track located between 11th and 13th Streets east of Commercial Avenue, tours of naval vessels – in 1949 it was the aircraft carrier USS Rendova - and the selection of Pageant Royalty, which for 1949 was Queen Norine Chiabai and princesses Ardelle Rock and Roberta Sullivan. A Kiddie Parade featured Cheryl Deane on a Fidalgo Fun float pulled by Ron Pinson. As reported in the Anacortes American, “despite earlier rain the streets became nearly dry during the course of the parade and spectators prepared for a drenching were pleasantly surprised.”
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The Marineers' Pageant occurred in the following years:
1937 - 1938 - 1939 - 1940 - 1941 - 1947 - 1948 - 1949 - 1957
Marineer’s Pageant Genesis by Paul Luvera, Sr.
(excerpted with permission from his soon to be published memoirs)
After the Wall Street crash of 1929, our last big Fourth of July celebration was in 1930. For three years we all worried whether we would survive that deep depression. It was brought up at the Anacortes Chamber of Commerce that it was time to do something to entertain people who were out of work. They needed a time to celebrate. A committee was appointed, and I was one of the members.
There were twelve of us, and the discussion started, "What can we promote as a celebration?" Naturally, the 4th of July was passé. We had to have something new and exciting. Many ideas were thrown in for discussion, but none of them jelled. Finally Chairman Gus Dalstead said, "I have an idea. Let's sponsor an outboard motorboat race to be held by Cap Sante. There is a natural sloping hillside, and with some labor rough seats can be made. To prevent someone falling into the bay, we could drive iron posts and tie guy wires on each row. We could block the entrance on 4th Street leading to Cap Sante, and charge fifty cents admission to attend the races. Naturally the people who live on Cap Sante will be allowed access." Someone pointed out that many boys and girls will climb Cap Sante from the beach by "Little Chicago" (a poor folks' shantytown with shelters built with piano boxes, beach-combed lumber, and stolen lumber) to avoid paying the four bits to enter. Naturally we would have bands, floats, and a lot of hoopla. Somebody said, "We'll need a publicity guy." The eleven of them looked around and fixed their eyes on me, two saying simultaneously, "Yep, that's Paul Luvera's job." They all applauded. Nobody really wanted that lousy job of much labor, contacts, and one-finger typing.
Chairman Dalstead said, "Okay, we have the theme of our celebration, outboard motor races to be held at Cap Sante with judges on a scow anchored offshore. We'll have floats, bands, and lots of publicity, and that's Paul's job. Now what about an attractive name for our big show?" Names were thrown in, the secretary writing them down, and finally the complete list was read. We all shook our heads in disapproval. Then a newcomer, a guy named Phil Burton, from Spokane who had bought the Germain Jewelry & Clock store said, "How about this: Marineers Pageant, not Mariner but Marineer?" And that clicked immediately! The Marineers Pageant became the most successful of any previous celebration.