By Steve Powell
MARYSVILLE – The Marysville Strawberry Festival Royalty Pageant Saturday night has been canceled due to coronavirus requirements of health officials.
Maryfest volunteer Sandie Phipps said Wednesday that requirements for an event for over 50 people were too much for the small volunteer group to handle in such a short amount of time.
She said they were being asked to have everyone fill out a questionnaire and sign a release form; take people’s temperatures; and have the facility inspected.
“We can’t do that,” she said. “It went on and on.”
Earlier in the week Phipps said the event would be cut back drastically because the Marysville School District would not allow Maryfest to use the Marysville-Pilchuck High School auditorium this year because of coronavirus concerns.
The pageant was moved to the Maryfest office on First Street instead.
They had planned an abbreviated event, but now it will be cut back even more. There are nine candidates and nine escorts. Each can have two guests so that’s 36, plus some Maryfest board members. So that’s all the event can handle to stay under 50 people.
Purchased tickets can be returned.
Phipps said there will be no more judging Saturday night. The top three winners will be decided based on public appearances already judged.
“They’ve worked so hard,” she said of the candidates. “But we want everyone to be safe.”
Phipps had said the event couldn’t be delayed because their first parade is April 4 in Tacoma. But with the new restrictions she doesn’t think the Daffodil Parade will happen this year.
“It’s toast,” she said. “The unknown has everyone on edge. We want to limit exposure and error on the side of caution.”