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Hot weather leads to small crowd for Community Pride Day

MARYSVILLE "It was tough to compete against a day like that," said city Parks Maintenance Manager Mike Robinson.

Robinson was referring to the small number of volunteers who showed up for the city's third annual Community Pride Day held May 17.

The day also just happened to be easily the warmest day of the year so far, with temperatures busting into the low 80s according to signs along State Avenue.

Robinson guessed the day might become one of the biggest fishing days of the still young spring.

In any case, a grand total of six volunteers, including four youngsters, showed up to help plant flowers at various spots around Marysville.

Starting at 9 a.m., at Ebey Waterfront Park, the group moved to the red caboose near I-5 then headed over a few blocks to the waterfall at Fourth Street near I-5. They ended up Jennings Memorial Park.

Two of the youngsters represented Cub Scout Pack 26 and were on hand to help earn community service credit good for merit badges. One such volun Volunteer, Gregory Panther, 8, didn't have a lot to say about his efforts, other than noting the temperature.

"It's hot," he said, wiping sweat off his forehead with an exaggerated motion.

Raul Ramirez, 9, seemed to be enjoying himself despite the heat. He said he was there because of an uncle who wanted him to learn about volunteering. The message may have sunk in. Raul promised he would come back and help out again in the future.

Robinson essentially shrugged off the low volunteer count and didn't seem discouraged in the least. According to initial plans, Robinson and the city hoped to get over 200 flats of summer flowers into the ground at the spots already mentioned and several others. In the end, half of the flowers didn't show up, so Robinson actually expressed a little relief that volunteers didn't show up in big numbers.

"If we would have had a bunch of people, we might have easily run out of flowers," Robinson said.

All in all, the volunteers who were on hand got 40 flats of geraniums into the ground, with each flat carrying about 40 plants.

Once the rest of the blooms arrive, Robinson added city workers will finish the planting chores around City Hall, around the Marysville safety forces headquarters and up and down State Avenue along with a few other spots.

"We've got plenty of places we can go," Robinson said.

Despite the low turnout this year, Robinson seemed confident the city would trot out another Pride Day next year.

"Some crowds have been bigger than others," he said. "It just depends."

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