Former Newcastle resident has ducks, and Seahawks, in a row

March 5, 2014

By Christina Corrales-Toy

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As the Seattle Seahawks paraded through city streets Feb. 5, basking in the glow of the organization’s first Super Bowl win, one image stood out among the rest.

The visual of Skittles-munching running back Marshawn Lynch sitting on the hood of a Ride the Ducks amphibious vehicle brought a smile to fans’ faces.

File Mikie Coffman, general manager of Ride the Ducks, stands near one of the business’ 17 duck tour vehicles. Coffman, formerly of Newcastle, was instrumental in helping to transport the Seahawks through Seattle during their celebratory Super Bowl parade.

File
Mikie Coffman, general manager of Ride the Ducks, stands near one of the business’ 17 duck tour vehicles. Coffman, formerly of Newcastle, was instrumental in helping to transport the Seahawks through Seattle during their celebratory Super Bowl parade.

The Seahawks employed Ride the Ducks, a service that provides fun, scenic tours of Seattle, to usher the players across the parade route. It’s a company that also happens to bear a Newcastle connection.

Until just six months ago, Ride the Ducks’ general manager Mikie Coffman called Newcastle home. She lived in Newcastle since 2006 and recently moved to downtown Seattle to be closer to work.

“My heart is still in Newcastle,” she said “I still have friends at the Starbucks.”

Ride the Ducks got the call from the Seahawks, expressing interest in using its vehicles for the parade Feb. 3, just a day after the Super Bowl. Coffman said she screamed with delight when she heard the news.

“It’s wild,” she said. “We were absolutely so excited, thrilled and honored.”

It sparked a whirlwind of controlled chaos around the office, said Brian Tracey, Ride the Ducks’ CEO and president, but he wouldn’t have it any other way.

“We’re just so honored to be part of one of the biggest celebrations in the history of Seattle,” he said.

It was big. An estimated 700,000 people lined the Seattle streets to welcome the Super Bowl champions home. The Issaquah and Renton school districts even allowed parade absences to be marked as excused.

The company worked with the city and the team around the clock to hammer out logistics for the parade. The plan changed more than seven times, Coffman estimated, but she said it was worth it to see it come to fruition.

“We’ve really become a part of Seattle,” she said. “You think Ducks, you think Seattle and we’re just so excited to be a part of this.”

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