Weather doesnt dampen spirits for 76th edition of Strawberry Festival

From left, Ambassador Brooklynn El Fattal, Royal Ambassador Cassie Miller and Ambassador Alicia Coragiulo dance up a storm while riding the Strawberry Festival Float during the June 16 Grand Parade. -
From left, Ambassador Brooklynn El Fattal, Royal Ambassador Cassie Miller and Ambassador Alicia Coragiulo dance up a storm while riding the Strawberry Festival Float during the June 16 Grand Parade.
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MARYSVILLE Theres no place like home especially when the weather cooperates.
That could be the theme for this years Marysville Strawberry Festival, the 76th edition and the first to spread out on a longer time frame.
The main events dodged the weather bullets, but new events such as Poochapalooza took a hit with rain coming down sideways at an otherwise bare Asbery Field.
The Grand Parade on Saturday was the highlight as usual, with the revered but family-friendly trike race also sharing in the good weather. A late sprinkling sent some parade watchers packing but the stalwarts stayed until the end of the twilight classic. The Market in the Park and the Carnival did well when it was dry but had sparse attendance on a wet Sunday, the last of the traditional events.
Allyson Herring was perched on a chair in the back of a pickup truck a block north of the grandstands during the Grand Parade June 16 and was giving tips on the finer points of life to her best friend nearby.
Amy, next year, signs saying were single, Herring shouted as the hunks from the Marysville Fire District cruised by. Herring admitted she was cruising too, but didnt think she and her friends would post their phone numbers. At least not yet.
State Avenue sidewalks were packed with crowds from 80th Street south to Third Street, where the floats and marching bands hung a left. People young and old thronged the crowded ways and people began staking out their turf the night before with lawn chairs and duct tape.
I think this years festival went outstandingly well, said Maryfest President Darrell Wigdahl. The weather held out for us until the last moment. I certainly appreciate all the communitys participation, and would like to extend a gracious thank you to board members and other volunteers.
He was emphatic as he cited the huge number of hours by festival volunteers behind the scenes to make festival events go off with out any hitches.
Theres an extreme amount of hard work behind the scenes,
Wigdahl said.
There were nearly 100 entries in the Grand Parade, from entire marching bands and equestrian clubs to individual mascots. That meant lots of preparation and coordination, and many long nights and days.
I could sleep anther eight hours and not even notice it, Wigdahl said as the street sweepers were just finishing their chores.
The Community Grand Sweepstakes was awarded to the Daffodil Festival entry from Tacoma, and local powerhouse Tulalip Casino Float won the Business Grand Sweepstakes. A smattering of other honors were showered on nearly every other entrant, and thats a good thing according to one of the parade judges, Marysville City Councilman John Soriano.
They were impressive, Soriano said. I thought that the lighting was really cool. I noticed they did different things with the lights.
A parade buff from his days as a youngster growing up near Lacey, Soriano said he was impressed by how the parade brought citizens together.
I thought the community really got into it, he said.
For the Strawberry Festival royalty, homecoming was even sweeter because of all the familiar faces they knew. Royal Ambassador Cassie Miller and Ambassadors Brooklynn El Fattal and Alicia Coragiulo have ridden in about 10 parades so far, sometimes even without their new aviation-themed float, and always with great success. But theres just something about your own home town, they said.
It was recognizing peoples faces out on the sidewalk that made it more special, El Fattal said.
Bobbi Young is the royal chaperone who keeps the girls standing straight and smiling brightly where ever they go and she said it was clear the girls felt at home and could relax just a little bit on their own stomping grounds. In other cities around the Pacific Northwest the teen trio felt they were on the spot, representing Marysville, not just themselves. At home it was different, one of them told her.
They felt that they couldnt be themselves because they were representing Marysville, Young explained.

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