Spring is in the air and the daffodils are beginning to emerge to indicate the beginning of a beautiful spring in the Pacific Northwest. For the city of Puyallup the daffodils also signify the beginning of a wonderful event that celebrates the growth and spirit of the city. For over the last 80 years, the residents in the city have delighted in the events hosted by the festival. The Daffodil Festival is one of the best ways to celebrate spring in the city of Puyallup.
The Daffodil Festival is a 501(c)(3) organization in Washington whose mission is to foster growth and help with the betterment of the communities within Pierce County area. The Festival began on April 6, 1926 when Mr. and Mrs. Charles W. Orton were hosts to civic leaders from 125 towns in Western Washington.
Their mission statement says, “The Daffodil Festival is dedicated to provided Pierce County with community service, leadership training, educational opportunities…and four fantastic parades!” Their core values include commitment to education, active membership and volunteers, inspiration from community service and the development and training of future leaders.
The Daffodil Royalty Court is one of the key components to the festival. The court is made up of 24 senior ladies from participating Pierce County High Schools that throughout the year work with the community to help develop public speaking skills, valuable lessons and help to grow their self confidence. They have the chance to meet and interact with people from their own communities from all ages, economic levels and local and government leaders. Even during the summer the Daffodil Princesses work to continue the spirit of the festivals by carrying the title of Official Ambassadors of Pierce County at other out of town parades.
The official list of events starts with the Princess Promenade which serves as the first full court appearance for the court. The Princess Promenade is the celebration of the inauguration of each girl as an Official Daffodil Princess. Other main events during the festival include the Queen’s Luncheon, The Queen’s coronation and Daffodil 5K Challenge. The 5K Challenge takes runners through four cities in Pierce County and includes each of the parade routes. The four cities each have independent races that when run all together create the Challenge. The Daffodil Parade is the ultimate celebration for the entire festival.
The Daffodil Parade is the culmination of the whole festival. The parade is this Saturday, April 9th and will travel through the cities of Tacoma, Puyallup, Sumner, and Orting. The start of the parade is in Tacoma at 10:15am. The parade will then move on to Puyallup at 12:45pm, then Sumner at 2:30pm and finally Orting at 5:00pm. The parade will have over 180 entries including floats, bands, marching and mounted units. The floats are decorated with thousands of fresh cut bright and sunny daffodils that have been grown in the Puyallup Valley for over the last 80 years. The festival is fun for the whole family and is a great event that brings the local community together. Make sure when you are out at the festival to tweet us your photos or thoughts at on our Twitter. We can’t wait to see you all there!