Former Seattle Sonics superstar guard Gary Payton will serve as Grand Marshal of this year’s Seafair Torchlight Parade, the summer festival announced Friday.
“We’re honored that Gary is serving in the Grand Marshal role and welcome him to the Seafair family,” Seafair President Beth Knox said in a news release. “His international status as a sports legend combined with his commitment to the Seattle community makes him an ideal selection for the grand marshal role. I know fans will come out on Torchlight Night to recognize Gary for his incredible accomplishments.”
Payton, an Oregon State University graduate, was the second overall pick in the 1990 NBA Draft and played 13 years for the Sonics. When he was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks in 2003, he was Seattle’s all-time leader in games played, points, minutes, steals, assists, field goals made and three-point field goals made. He won an NBA Championship with the Heat in 2006, and Gold Medals with the U.S. Olympic Team in 1996 and 2000.
He will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Sept. 8.
The parade, technically called the 2013 Alaska Airlines Seafair Torchlight Parade, will take place at 7:30 p.m. on July 27, starting near the Seattle Center and continuing down Fourth Avenue.
It will include “live bands, high-energy drill and dance teams, floats, marching bands, the scurvy Seafair Pirates, Seafair Clowns, gigantic character balloons, local celebrities, and more,” according to the news release. About 150,000 spectators are expected.