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Strawberry Festival offers two weeks of fun

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MARYSVILLE Aptitude plus attitude equals altitude, and after 76 years the Strawberry Festival looks like it can handle anything that comes along.
Two weeks ago the trio of berry ambassadors snagged a top prize at a Canadian festival without their float, and that shows just how bulletproof this years fair should be. The festival theme is Berries with Altitude expressed by the new festival float with a berry-faced pilot flying a bright red bi-plane over the glittering float.
More events, spread over a longer period of time should give festival goers more chances to see and participate in the things they want to, while festival mainstays will anchor the schedule in new, improved venues. The two weeks of fun will start with the golf tournament Friday, June 8 and Poochapalooza June 9.
The dog extravaganza was moved up a week so it could have a venue with more room for Fido to run. Last year was the first time the dogs were invited to the festival, where Poochapalooza shared Asbery Field with the Market at the Park and was a huge success. More than $4,000 was raised toward a future off-leash dog park to be built somewhere in the Marysville area and all proceeds from this year will also be donated to the effort, according to organizer Leslie Buell.
The lead competition will be the Skyhounds competition, sponsored by Hyperflite Flying Discs. There will also be a Flyball exhibition and a troop of dancing dogs. Contests will feature the best kissers, best pet tricks, best costume, voice, celebrity look-a-like and many others.
People are free but their dogs are charged $15 admission, $5 for each additional pet. Asbery Park is on Fourth Street between Alder and Quinn avenues, next to Marysville Junior High School.
The Fashion Show is held at noon on Tuesday, June 12 at Leifer Manor, where models display the latest and greatest in couture. The grub is usually as good the garb and the lunch gives the elite a chance to meet and greet. Leifer Manor is located in the north of town at 12511 State Avenue, and the $20 admission cost includes lunch.
On Thursday, June 14 Marysville gets to watch a local version of American Idol, at the Strawberry Festival Talent Show, at the Marysville-Pilchuck High School Auditorium. The 6:30 p.m. show features performers of all ages and a variety of genres of music, dance and instrumental solos and duets. Keaona Marie Gordon is a four-year-old who will start the show with a jazz dance version of Beat it and other performances will include tap dance, hip-hop and classical music acts. It costs $5 to see the 31 acts, and children under age seven are free. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. at the M-P auditorium, 5611 108th St. NE.
The carnival also opens that day at 4 p.m. at Marysville Middle School, 4923 67th St. NE, initiating four days of fun, rides and amusements. Not to be confused with the Market in the Park, a few block west at Asbery Park, next to Marysville Junior High School.
The market starts at
2 p.m. on Friday, June 15 and at
10 a.m. the next two days. Vendors stake out the turf and peddle their wares as visitors gobble the many different foods on sale. Live entertainment this year will feature 11 different acts on the CarToys Aftershock stage, including the Madrigal Sisters opening on Friday at 4:30, Joe Slick Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m., and The Encounters wrapping things up from 1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday. The performances and Market in the Park are free.
Friday features the athletic highlight of the festival, the Adult Trike Race at Ebey Waterfront Park. The word adult is required, if only to soothe the egos of the participants, who must dive into a big pool of Jello and complete a circuit of obstacles. Theres no bar-hopping these days, as the race has gone family friendly in recent times, but its still good for a laugh. The races are from seven to 10 p.m. at Ebey Waterfront Park on First Street.
On Saturday the festival really kicks things up a notch, as the Pig Out on the Farm begins at Biringer Farm, just across the slough and south of town about a mile or so. The weekend at the farm is filled with food, fun and lots of fresh berries, not just strawberries. Families can buy strawberries, raspberries and tayberries, and the u-pick variety is easier on the wallet, if not the waistline. The 360-acre farm grows the smaller and sweeter slicers strawberries and most visitors get their hands dirty in the rows and rows of plants, filling up flat after flat of berries.
There are food vendors and free tractor and hay rides, as well as a small petting zoo and kite flying demonstrations. Biringer Farm is located on SR 529 just south of town, and the Berry Line is 425-259-0255. The Pig Out runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday,
11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
The Market in the Park features more activities as well on Saturday, including the classic car show all day and the strawberry shortcake eating contest, from 1 to 3 p.m.
This year the Berry Run will be held in the Lakewood area at the Smokey Point Plant Farm, 15022 Twin Lakes Avenue. The one-mile run starts at
8 a.m., the 5K run/walk a half-hour later. Prizes and awards will be handed out at 10 a.m. and hopefully all the runners will be finished by then too. The new location was picked to emphasize how Marysville has grown in recent years, according to organizer Judy Anderson, a member of the Maryfest board.
We wanted to expand Marysville, she said. Its getting so large and the Plant Farm is part of Marysville and we thought it would be a good opportunity to have it there.
The festival reaches a crescendo with the parades on Saturday night. First is the smaller kiddies parade, which travels the few blocks from Eighth Street at the junior high school south to Fifth Street, looping around Comeford Park, where the prizes are awarded shortly afterwards. Registration starts at 5 p.m. and kids start lining up 45 minutes later. No motorized vehicles are allowed, and hand out the candy, but dont throw it, please. A parent has to be with the kids during the parade.
Next comes the Twilight Grand Parade. The past start time has been 8 p.m. but for a couple reasons the actual start time will be 15 minutes earlier. The television coverage will start at 8 p.m., but the floats will roll at 7:45, with the fire and police departments in the fore so they can get in place to handle any emergencies that may crop up. Since most watchers will have lined up hours before, it should be a moot point.
On Sunday the Market, carnival and Pig Out on the Farm continue and the festivals last event is a celebration with the Marysville Historical Society at Jennings Park, from 1 to 4 p.m.
The Tulalip Tribes have switched their annual parade and salmon ceremony to follow the Strawberry Festival a week later, and are discussing just how much they want to open the latter to the public. The parade is a funny and folksy family journey from Tulalip Elementary School to the tribal headquarters on Totem Beach Drive and is open to the public as always.
But the Tribes arent sure about welcoming everybody to the Salmon Ceremony this year, due to the cramped quarters in the traditional longhouse and the solemn environment. A tribal spokesman said the Tulalips are keeping a lower profile with the event this year, and that tribal members and invited guest will be welcome as always.

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