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Boats decorated in “Hawaiian Magic” themed palm trees and flower leis cruise through the Montlake Cut at Seattle Yacht Club’s Opening Day Boat Parade Saturday.

It’s the 93rd year for the popular celebration of spring and the 27th year for the Windermere Cup crew races that kick off the event.

Events on the water start with Dragon Boat Exhibition racing with local amateur associations paddling to the beat of drums on each boat in the world’s oldest continuously practiced team sport, which originated 2,400 years ago in China.

Crew races by local groups and high-school teams follow, featuring the Windermere Cup competition by college teams from Dartmouth, Cornell and the University of Washington.

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The official boat parade starts at noon and includes Husky Band boats, hundreds of decorated sail and power boats of all kinds and sizes, yachts and working boats, ending with the Chief Seattle fire boat cruising by with hoses firing.

For shoreside spectators, viewing is on the banks of Montlake Cut near the Montlake Bridge and any vantage point overlooking the area.

Early arrival is recommended for parking. The Montlake Bridge is closed to vehicle and foot traffic from 9:20 a.m. to about 3 p.m. Saturday.

Reservations for spectator log-boom space is closed; day of event space, if available, will be at the east end of the log boom.

Seattle Harbor Patrol limits boat access through and around the Montlake Cut beginning at 9:30 a.m. Saturday.

Other local Opening Day boat parades Saturday include Mukilteo Yacht Club’s “Finding Nemo” event at noon and Swinomish Yacht Club’s parade at 3 p.m. in La Conner.

Madeline McKenzie:

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