Tulalip's Bells named Grand Marshals of Marysville Strawberry Festival

TULALIP — Nancy and Jack Bell were more surprised than anyone when it was announced Feb. 6 that they will serve as the grand marshals for this year’s Marysville Strawberry Festival.

Nancy Bell, a long-time volunteer for the Strawberry Festival, has served as its treasurer for several years, while Jack Bell has helped maintain the festival’s relationship with the Tribes.

Carol Kapua, of the Strawberry Festival, broke the news in the Tulalip Tribal administration building’s Board of Directors meeting room, which drew praise from the Tribal Board.

Tribal Board Director Stan Jones Sr. noted that Jack Bell, like himself, was a fellow veteran of the invasion of Japan during World War II, while fellow Board Director Glen Gobin noted that the Bells live in Tulalip and have remained active in both the Marysville and Tulalip communities.

“You couldn’t have chosen better,” Gobin said. “Jack has been one of the best advocates I’ve seen for the relationship that crosses I-5, and Nancy has been so dedicated to this festival.”

Tribal Board Chair Mel Sheldon Jr. characterized the Bells as mentors and positive examples to many people in the community, on their own paths toward serving others.

“Your friendship with the Tulalip Tribes is precious and goes back to an earlier time,” Sheldon said. “We’re all part of a bigger community, to the point that I-5 disappears between us.”

“This is a complete shock,” Jack Bell said. “It’s a wonderful honor, but one that I never would have expected.”

Nancy Bell echoed her husband, and expressed her gratitude to the members of the Marysville Strawberry Festival, with whom she’s worked for 25 years.

“I’m excited every year to go back and have another success,” Nancy Bell said. “It’s so good to see the young people who get involved. Our Royalty Courts are so impressive. They’re really the cream of the crop.”

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