Bainbridge Island celebrated its annual Scotch Broom Parade on May 13, 2022.
Here’s some background on the event from –Mickey Molnaire, former Scotch Broom Queen:
Sometime in the 1960s, island architect John Rudolph received a piece of mail from someone trying to create a calendar of all the annual events in Washington State.
Known for his wicked sense of humor, John filled out the form, describing a spontaneous festival and parade that took place in Winslow in May, symbolically ridding the island of the noxious weed, Scotch broom –a complete fabrication.
He mailed back the form and thought nothing of it – until the next year in May when some people showed up expecting to see the festival. John quickly rounded up some of his friends and colleagues, many of whom were musicians, and the Scotch Broom Parade was born. My husband Ron Konzak was one of the group.
John was a member of Kiwanis, so he challenged the island’s Rotary Club to a tiddly-wink game, which in the early years was played in the middle of Winslow Way. The winner, clutching the Golden Plunger, and the Scotch Broom Queen (usually randomly chosen from passersby) rode in a vehicle festooned with broom with Kiwanis and others walking behind brandishing branches in a parade that lasted all of ten minutes at the most.
The most intriguing thing about the event is its elusiveness. It’s never widely publicized — the original flash mob. If you happen to be in Winslow for that brief half hour or so, you see it. If not, you don’t.
To learn more, please read this article written by Island Wanderer, Margaret Millmore: https://theislandwanderer.com/bainbridge-islands-quirkiest-parade-the-scotch-broom-parade-2022/