A celebration of epic proportions took the streets of downtown Puyallup by storm this past Saturday morning. A crowd hovering around 1,000 spectators congregated at various points along Meridian Street as members of the Puyallup Vikings state champion baseball, fastpitch and golf teams cruised down the street aboard vintage fire trucks and military vehicles.
Puyallup resident Bill Shea originally visited the downtown area at 8:30 a.m. in the morning, planning on visiting the Farmer’s Market. He still had the opportunity to visit the Farmer’s Market, but he got there a little later than usual.
“I didn’t even know the parade was happening,” Shea said. “I was surprised, and had a good time watching the parade. It was a good way to celebrate the state championships, and I think it is great for the community and everybody involved with the community.”
Christy Galan, who has a daughter that played on the Vikings’ junior varsity fastpitch team, was present at the last parade on Meridian celebrating a state championship.
“I remember back in 1987 when I was a sophomore in high school and I was in the band when the football team won a state championship,” she said. “The parade today was about the same size as the one back then. There was a big rally at Sparks Stadium afterwards.”
Following the 2014 parade, a majority of the athletes on each championship team visited Sparks Firehouse Deli across the street from Sparks Stadium to bask in the glory of their respective championship runs. Puyallup fastpitch head coach Tony Batinovich said last week these will be times his team will never forget.
“Winning a state championship is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and they were in a parade,” Batinovich said. “How many people can say they were in a parade? It’s pretty cool thing for the community and is exciting for the kids. That’s for sure.”
Puyallup boys golf coach Glenn Halverson said three state championships and a parade to commemorate the achievement is something that doesn’t happen often.
“It was something that was unforeseen,” he said. “This is really special and is a real honor. It has been crazy fun and what has happened with all of the notoriety is beyond our dreams. It will probably sink in for these kids down the road. When they are able to look back they are going to say, ‘Wow, that was really cool.’”
Puyallup golfer Mitchell Baldridge was jovial as he saw the multitude of fans on both sides of Meridian packed for the parade.
“It was awesome,” Baldridge said. “It just reminded me of the Seahawks parade but to a much smaller scale. It was sweet. I loved it.”
Senior pitcher Marissa Miller, a member of the fastpitch team, echoed Baldridge’s sentiment.
“It was crazy,” she said. “It was so fun being with all my teammates and just seeing so many people lined up on the street. It has been a crazy week in Puyallup, and has been an awesome experience.”