Better weather is expected for Saturday’s 52nd Annual Junior Daffodil Parade in Tacoma’s Proctor District, following a very wet Daffodil Grand Floral Parade weekend last week.
In the past, the Junior Daffodil Parade has fallen the weekend prior to the Daffodil Festival’s Grand Floral Parade. Steve James, executive director of the Daffodil Festival, said the parade was moved to the following weekend to increase visibility and coordinate it with the Marine Parade, which is Sunday at the Tacoma Yacht Club.
More than 70 entrants and about 3,700 participants are scheduled to march in the Junior Daffodil Parade on Saturday, which organizers anticipate will draw a crowd in the thousands. Some of the participants include Daffodil Queen Kenna Erhardt and the rest of the royal court, middle school marching bands, drills teams and scouts.
Following a very wet and chilly Daffodil Parade weekend, Saturday’s forecast shows a high of about 54 degrees and partly sunny, according to the National Weather Service. There is a 30 percent chance of rain.
Marva Pelander, the parade coordinator, said organizers watch the weather carefully but the weather has little affect on participation.
“Even in the years we’ve had downpours and chilly weather… the groups come no matter what,” she said.
Keeping with the Daffodil Festival’s theme “The Magic of Music,” the parade Grand Marshal is a local musical group Sunshine Generation that is made up of kids ages 3 through high school that sing and dance at performances all around the greater South Sound area, according to a parade news release.
The parade’s Honorary Grand Marshal is the Tacoma Titans, a group of wheelchair athletes from Metro Parks who compete all around the Northwest, according to the release. Pelander said the parade spans about 90 minutes because of the huge turnout of diverse groups.
“People think we are just a neighborhood event but we are really big,” Pelander said. “We just want to share the experience with everybody.”
Those who arrive early can enjoy pre-parade entertainment at North 26th and Proctor featuring the Concordia Lutheran School “Marimbas” at 9 a.m.
Pelander said each year groups come and go, but the parade maintains its traditional grandeur.
“It’s a well-oiled machine that seems to work well,” she said.
The parade begins at 10 a.m. at North 28th and Proctor near Mason Middle School. The route runs south on Proctor Street to North 26th and then heads east on 26th for two blocks, according to the release. The event will be taped for broadcast on TV Tacoma, which will air at various times between Wednesday and April 30. The first broadcast will air Wednesday at 8 p.m.
Kari Plog: 253-597-8682