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Whidbey fans join Super Bowl parade

Seahawks fans prepare to board a Whidbey SeaTac Shuttle bus Wednesday morning bound for the Super Bowl parade in downtown Seattle. - Ron Newberry
Seahawks fans prepare to board a Whidbey SeaTac Shuttle bus Wednesday morning bound for the Super Bowl parade in downtown Seattle.
— image credit: Ron Newberry

Rhys Mattila was up bright and early Wednesday.

But the Oak Harbor High School senior wasn't getting ready for school.

Mattila decided he couldn't miss the Seattle Seahawks' Super Bowl parade Wednesday.

And he figured he wasn't alone, guessing that "half the senior class" was bound for the celebration in downtown Seattle.

"I hope they're not going to crack down on it," Mattila said. "I even know a teacher who has an appointment today."

Mattila was one of 51 people who boarded two shuttle buses with Whidbey SeaTac Shuttle that took off from Oak Harbor early Wednesday morning.

And he wasn't the only student of the bunch.

"I let the attendance secretary know that we would be out of town today," said Coupeville's Shelly Maier, who boarded the shuttle with her daughter, Raechel Kundert, an eighth grader.

Eric Daigneault of Coupeville also was parade bound with his wife and two daughters.

"It's more about family than anything else," he said. "Twenty years from now, they'll say, 'Remember when dad to us out of school for the parade.'"

John Tharp, charter manager with Whidbey SeaTac Shuttle, organized the trips in about 24 hours, first inquiring if there was interest on the business' Facebook page.

Fifty-two people signed up for the $25 roundtrip "excursion rate" to the convention center in Seattle. There was one no-show.

The buses left at 8 a.m., and were planning to depart Seattle back to Oak Harbor at 2:30 p.m.

Some saw the Seahawks' first Super Bowl parade as a chance of a lifetime, but not all.

"I expect to be back next year," Maier said.

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