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Marysville Strawberry Festival promises 'Summertime Fun' June 12-20

From left, Strawberry Festival Junior Royalty Princesses Piper Holiday, Cassie Coate and Cassy Mead, Strawberry Festival Royalty Princesses Haley Otto and Ella Stefoglo, and Strawberry Festival Royalty Queen Kaija Wilcox welcome Marysville natives and visitors alike to the 2010 Marysville Strawberry Festival, from June 12-20. - Adam Rudnick
From left, Strawberry Festival Junior Royalty Princesses Piper Holiday, Cassie Coate and Cassy Mead, Strawberry Festival Royalty Princesses Haley Otto and Ella Stefoglo, and Strawberry Festival Royalty Queen Kaija Wilcox welcome Marysville natives and visitors alike to the 2010 Marysville Strawberry Festival, from June 12-20.
— image credit: Adam Rudnick

MARYSVILLE — The Marysville Strawberry Festival promises to provide nine days of local "Summertime Fun," hopefully in some summer sun, from June 12-20.

"We're keeping our fingers crossed that Mother Nature will shine down upon us," Maryfest Vice President Jodi Hiatt said. "We've got an exciting market with a lot of interesting vendors, we have a lot of neat activities for kids, and I've seen the floats that are coming in and they are wonderful to watch, so I think people will be excited to see them up close."

The Berry Run kicks off the week-plus-long festival June 12 at the Smokey Point Plant Farm, with the one-mile run and walk starting at 8 a.m., followed by the start of the five-kilometer run at 8:30 a.m. Awards and prizes will be dispensed at 9:30 a.m.

This year's run will benefit the Lakewood High School cross country program, with proceeds going to the Cougar runners to send seven boys and girls to the Stanford Invitational Meet in Palo Alto, Calif. Approximately 200 participants are anticipated for this year's run.

The Fashion Show returns to Leifer Manor, June 16 from 4:30-6:30 p.m., while the Marysville-Pilchuck High School auditorium will again host the Talent Show, June 17 starting at 6:30 p.m.

The Fashion Show will be split into two shows, the first featuring summer swimwear and fashions, and the latter showcasing local models as they sport formal wear from a number of Marysville-area merchants. Many of the clothing items on display will be from larger stores, and a number of Seattle Premium Outlet stores are also slated to participate. New to this year's show will be the Tux Shop.

This year's auditioning crop of Talent Show contestants included a pianist, a violinist, more than one guitar player, several dancers, even more singers, a jug band, a belly-dancer and a harpist. A few musicians performed songs they'd composed themselves at the auditions, where the contestants' age range went from four to 73 years. Only 30 of the 40 acts who auditioned will be able to appear onstage.

The "Funtastic Carnival" will start at 3 p.m. on June 17 and 18, and at noon on June 19 and 20, at its usual location at the Marysville Middle School.

Carnival games and other attractions will be on site, alongside rides ranging from the ferris wheel and the merry-go-round to the scrambler and the octopus. The Strawberry Festival Royalty are also slated to make an appearance or two at the carnival.

The Arts and Crafts Market comes back to Asbery Field, June 18 from 2-9 p.m., June 19 from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and June 20 and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For the kids, the market boasts active attractions such as a miniature golf course, go-carts and train rides. For adults, the market will offer opportunities to interact with local merchants and regional businesses, as they show off handmade products ranging from wood puzzles to housewares such as kitchen towels and pot-holders. The market will also provide information on subjects such as window installations and other home improvements, as well as fundraising campaigns on behalf of community organizations.

Asbery Field is also set to host the Adult Trike Races June 18 at 7 p.m., and on June 19, the Car Show starting at 10 a.m., the noontime KZOK live remote with Spike O'Neill, and the Strawberry Shortcake-Eating Contest running from 1-3 p.m.

The 50-year-old tricycle competition tends to attract about 16 teams of four, completing a course that takes anywhere from 90 seconds to 3 minutes per lap, with as many as 10 obstacles and activities along the way, from making basketball shots to diving to the bottom of a pool of strawberry jello.

Biringer Farms and the Marysville Masonic Crystal Lodge are presenting the Strawberry Shortcake-Eating Contest, whose categories include 5-7 years old, 8-10 years old, 11-13 years old, 14-17 years old, Adult Open and Sponsored or Challenges. The entry fee is $3 for kids and $5 for teenagers and adults, with all proceeds going to the Marysville Community Food Bank.

Also on June 19, Totem Middle School will serve as the site for the Friendship Rose Planting Ceremony at 10 a.m. and the Kids Party in the Park running from noon to 5 p.m.

The annual rose ceremony began in 2001 at the "Red Caboose" to commemorate the friendship between the Strawberry Festival and the Northwest Festival Hosting Association, and will include representatives from the Portland Royal Rosarians planting roses in honor of individuals in the community. The half-hour event is free and open to all ages.

Scheduled performers and entertainers for the Kids Party in the Park include the "Reptile Man," Scott Petersen, as well as Ronald McDonald, Trinity Martial Arts and individuals from the Marysville Performing Arts Centre. Last year, Petersen brought a tortoise, a small alligator and a variety of lizards and snakes. Boston's Pizza will be providing free food for attendees.

State Avenue on June 19 will present the Kiddies Parade starting at 6 p.m., the Grand Parade starting at 7:45 p.m. and the fireworks show starting at 10:10 p.m.

The Kiddies Parade includes entry categories for individuals and groups, both in costumes, as well as for animals, from dogs to horses. The "floats" category excludes those with motors, while the "wheels" category includes everything from bicycles to wagons. The Kiddies Parade route starts at Totem Middle School on Seventh Street and heads south on State Avenue until it reaches Fifth Street, at which point awards are given to all the participants in Comeford Park.

The Grand Parade's slightly more than 120 entrants will include several equestrian groups, among them the Sky Riders from Monroe and the Hawaiian Pa'u Riders. Old favorites like the Clan Gordon Pipe Band will be returning, along with the Seattle Seafair Pirates and Keystone Kops. Organizers expect that high school and junior high marching bands from the Marysville and Lakewood school districts will be joined by others from as far away as Seattle and Tacoma.

Fred Meyer has sponsored the Fireworks Show since 2002 and will do so again this year. The fireworks will be launched high enough to be seen from many parts of the city, and attendees of the Grand Parade should be able to stay on State Avenue to catch the show.

"I want to thank our Marysville natives for their continued support," Hiatt said. "To those who are visiting for the first time, I hope we impress you enough that you'll put the Strawberry Festival on your calendars for next year."

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