Daffodil Festival inducts court for the 81st year

Lifestyles: Annual program adds 25 new princesses to more than 1,000 who have come before them

of the HeraldFebruary 12, 2014 

The Daffodil Festival organization launched its 81st year on Friday when 25 girls from 24 Pierce County high schools were named princesses of the 2014 Daffodil Court.

The princess promenade was held at the Pioneer Park pavilion in Puyallup, where guests were treated to appetizers from the Adriatic Grill and coffee and refreshments from Anthem Coffee and Tea. The theme is “Ready, Set, Grow.”

Judy Smith, the president for this year’s Daffodil Festival, is an avid gardener. She said she correlates gardening to how the girls are selected in the fall, established in the winter and flourish in the spring.

“It’s all entwined,” Smith said. “The whole process is wonderful. We get to mentor these young ladies, and to watch them grow is priceless.”

Smith’s husband, Tim, is the First Gentleman. The couple started with the Daffodil Festival in 2009, when their daughter became a princess from Lincoln High School. Their youngest daughter followed in 2011.

Judy Smith joined the Daffodil Festival board as secretary two years ago and was elected president last year.

“I love how this organization gives back to the community,” she said.

Judy Smith performed the official tapping ceremony. Each member of the Daffodil Court was given a sash, a golden daffodil and a tiara.

Pierce County Council member Joyce McDonald read a resolution that proclaimed each princess a county ambassador. Mike Boisture, a volunteer for the Tacoma-Pierce County Chaplaincy, blessed the Daffodil Court with a prayer.

Princesses from the Puyallup and Sumner school districts are: Kim White, Puyallup High; Sydney Brown, Rogers; Marissa Modestowicz and Kiasa Sims, Emerald Ridge; Kaetlynn Brown, Sumner; Haley Theriault, Bonney Lake; Andrea Seaton, Cascade Christian; and Stephanie Jackson-Buena, Chief Leschi.

McKenna Erhardt, last year’s Daffodil Queen from Rogers High, greeted the newly inducted princesses. Erhardt said her experience was phenomenal.

“There are no words to describe the experience,” she said.

Erhardt said she encourages all the princesses to be themselves and to be willing to give their time to other people.

White, from Puyallup High, said she plans to attend Eastern Washington University and to pursue a doctorate degree in physical therapy.

“It’s been a dream of mine to be a princess,” she said. “I’m very happy I get to live it. I’m looking forward to growing and bonding and getting 24 new sisters.”

Sydney Brown, from Rogers, said she wanted to be a princess because of the example set by previous Daffodil Courts. She plans to attend Brigham Young University next fall and major in fashion design.

Kaetlynn Brown, from Sumner High, said she’s looking forward to the community involvement that the Daffodil Court provides.

“I’m very excited for the library reading,” she said.

Brown plans to major in criminology at Pacific Lutheran University.

The 25 princesses join the 1,036 princesses who came before them. During the next several months, the group will take part in hundreds of countywide and regional events. It will culminate in the Daffodil Festival parade on April 5.

If you go

Upcoming Daffodil Festival events include the Queen’s Coronation on March 7 at Life Center in Tacoma and the 81st annual Daffodil Festival Grand Floral Parade on April 5. For more details, visit www.thedaffodilfestival.org.

Reporter Andrew Fickes can be reached at 253-552-7001 or by email at andrew.fickes@puyallupherald.com. Follow him on Twitter, @herald_andrew.

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