Donations help fuel Puyallup float

City council member organizes volunteers, keeps detailed notes for future planners

Staff writerApril 9, 2014 

Daffodil Festival Parade A couple months ago, Puyallup didn’t know how it was going to pull off a community float to feature in last Saturday’s Daffodil Grand Floral Parade.

New state restrictions on lodging tax revenue, which traditionally had been used to pay for the float, prevented the city to use the funds for that purpose. And the Puyallup Main Street Association did not want to continue to bear the responsibility.

A Puyallup City Council member helped the city raise enough money to make it work.

Donations poured in from the Ram Restaurant and Brewery, state representatives, city council members, residents and the Puyallup School District, which gave $1,000. The total raised was more than $4,440.

“We’re trying to make do with what we can come up with,” council member Julie Door told The News Tribune.

On Saturday, the resulting float — constructed using the bare-bones frame of a car and other recycled materials — was impressive. Based on a garden theme, Door said she and volunteers placed 6,000 daffodils on the float, tripling the festival’s minimum of 2,000.

The daffodils cost $90 per thousand, according to a report in The News Tribune.

Door said the work was a “full-time project.” While she teamed with friends, family members and other volunteers to put the float together, Door also kept a binder full of information so future organizers will have a starting point.

There were plenty more parade entries for parents, grandparents and children to cheer on Saturday.

The parade started with the warbling sound of sirens that emitted from Puyallup police officers on motorbikes. Grayson Gochanour, the chief for the day, waved to the crowd from his perch in a black-and-white police SUV.

Grand Marshall Ciscoe Morris was all smiles as he came up in a yellow Buick. Ed Hume followed as the Community Grand Marshall.

The crowd went wild with the appearance of the 2-2 Stryker Brigade from Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

The first marching band up was Emerald Ridge High School. The Daffodil princesses and queen waved from their bright yellow float.

The Chief Leschi School Puyallup Tribe float — easily the longest in the parade — had a hard time as it attempted to turn the corner at West Meeker and Meridian Street in downtown Puyallup. The crowd cheered when it adjusted and cleared the corner.

State Sen. Bruce Dammeier, R-Puyallup, walked the route and waved to constituents.

“We’re about a quarter of the way through,” he said.

State Rep. Dawn Morrell, D-Puyallup, followed.

The Seafair Pirates were another crowd favorite as they came through on a large pirate ship. A cannon report shook the audience. One pirate tossed silver coins to children.

Jennifer Kautz of Kent came to the parade with her 1 1/2-year-old daughter, Kaycee.

“It was my daughter’s first parade,” Kautz said. “She loved waving to the princesses and clapping her hands to the bands.”

Kaycee was one of dozens of children that lined the street with parents and grandparents.

Kari Plog of The News Tribune contributed to this report. Andrew Fickes: 253-552-7001 andrew.fickes@ puyallupherald.com Twitter: @herald_andrew

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