The Daffodil Parade in Puyallup got off to a fine start. It was warm early this afternoon despite a sometimes stiff breeze, and the sun peaked through some wispy clouds.
Thousands of people lined the parade route along Meridian and Meeker. The typical sights of a great parade were plentiful. The sun sparkled. Toddlers perched on their parents’ shoulders to watch the festivities. Toddlers scrambled in the street to snatch peppermint candy tossed from passing cars. Vendors sold cotton candy and cupcakes, Jolly Roger flags and Bart Simpson balloons.
Frank and Pam Aguilar sold “yo-yo” balloons – palm-sized balloons filled with 2 ounces of water, enough to let you bounce them in your hand. The cost: $1.
“Anybody breaks one, we replace it free of charge,” Pam Aguilar promised.
One of the sonic highlights of the Daffodil Parade is the Seattle Seafair Pirates and their black powder-belching ride, Moby Duck. A scraggy-looking band of swashbucklers march beside the ship, inciting and entertaining the crowd.
Among them, a pirate named Spencer (“You can call me Dirty Dog!”), who lugs a ball and chain.
“You see that?” one of his companions asked the crowd in Puyallup. “Six months ago he didn’t have that.
He wasn’t married!”
The line got a few chuckles.
Moby Duck’s impressive “cannon” got a bigger response. Periodically, the ship’s warning siren indicated an explosion was imminent, and people in the crowd covered their ears. The resounding “boom” prompted appreciative screams and clapping.
But the boom startled some youngsters, including 2-year-old Gavin Ward of Federal Way. He came to Puyallup with his parents, Antonio and Dawn Ward.
“It’s his first real parade, so he’s loving it,” Dawn said.
Gavin wasn’t loving the cannon shot. But he perked up when he spotted several John Deere farm machines.
“Tractor!” he exclaimed.
Earlier, the parade traveled through Tacoma. Next up: Sumner at 2:30 p.m. then Orting at 5 p.m. Find the full schedule here.