Bagpipes and Cool Patches

Does anyone know how bagpipes became an integral part of Sitka’s Alaska Day celebration?  I don’t, but my first Alaska Day in Sitka featured bagpipes from firefighters somewhere in Washington State.  Currently it is the Seattle Firefighters who come to Sitka each year, well they missed 2020 and 2021 because of the pandemic but now they are back and I am happy.

The pipers go from bar to bar for several nights livening up Sitka’s rainy October evenings.  They also hit restaurants and all the official functions.  One year I was in Raven Radio’s production studio. The glass in the windows started to vibrate as the pipers marched into the restaurant housed in the Cable House.  What could I do?  I put a mic into the restaurant and we went live on the air.  I mean, the studio isn’t THAT soundproof and you don’t need many mics to pick up a bagpipe band.

Before the parade the pipers visit the Sitka fire hall.  We have some lunch and listen to the music before heading out into the mist for the parade where the pipers lead the Sitka firetrucks that always signal the end of the parade.

During the break the firefighters show the drums off to the kids in the fire hall.

Seattle firefighters have some of the coolest patches on any uniform. 

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