Wow! What a year it has been. The Berry Patch column is a new communication method for the current board of the Strawberry Festival and will hopefully appear once a month from now on. For the first installment, here are brief highlights from the 2009 season.
In March we said goodbye to 2008 Senior Royalty Queen Danielle Wilcoxson, Princess Chelynne Renouard , Princess Lila Hart, Junior Royalty Madison Doty, Frankie Rojas and Julie Hodgen, and we welcomed Senior Royalty Queen Shelby Hintze, Princess Azzlinn Morales, Princess Rebecca Thomas and Junior Royalty Sarah Clayton to the Court.
The Senior Royalty was indoctrinated to the parade scene by appearing at the Daffodil Festival in April and doing four parades in one looooong day. The local festival in June was a success, but as always, the board found things that can be improved for next year. The Strawberry Festival float and crew, along with the festival royalty, attended approximately 28 parades this summer throughout the State of Washington, into Oregon and up into Canada.
I don't know if the Board of Directors would call it a highlight, but the fire at the caboose in July is probably one memory that stands out this year. We felt like fish floundering on dry land for a few months without an office to go to. But in September, an office right next to City Hall was found and a contract was signed.
Here it is fall already, and the Marysville Strawberry Festival is starting to participate in the 2010 festival season.
After appearing the weekend before at Leavenworth Autumn Leaf festival, we finished up the 2009 parade season the first week end of October at the Issaquah Salmon Day festival. It was a cold, brisk morning but thankfully, no rain. Queen Shelby and Junior Royalty Sarah were both on hand to ride the float down the parade route. Princess Azzlinn had left for college and Princess Rebecca had surgery on her leg, so neither was able to attend. Sarah got sick before the parade started and was whisked home by Royalty Chaperone Teresa Bates, leaving Queen Shelby to represent the royalty by herself. It was a job well done, Shelby.
Most appearances went well but there was a slight "revealing" during the parade route by long-time volunteer Royalty bodyguard and new board member Dave "DC" Clemmons.
As most of you know, during our festival in June one of the more popular events is the Strawberry Shortcake eating contest. For the last several years, our Royalty has challenged the Port Townsend Royalty in the contest and, sad to say, our team has lost every year. This year DC was giving the Royalty a bad time, telling them not to be disappointed when they lost the contest. Princess Azzlinn told DC that she would be winning the contest this year and a bet was made. If she won, DC was to dress like a fairy, to match the float's theme this year, and walk down the next parade route.
As you have surmised, Princess Azzlinn won, and DC lost!
Now if you haven't seen a 6-foot, 300-pound man dressed as a fairy before, I invite to you check out the festival website, www.maryfest.com and look at the Issaquah Salmon Day pictures. Click though the first few of the different floats and you will find the Strawberry Festival fairy and Pooh posing together. DC made his first appearance in Astoria, OR and continued on in Leavenworth and Issaquah. But...back to the revealing. As the float and escorts were passing the review stand where all the dignitaries and judges from Issaquah were sitting, DC had a slight problem as his tutu came untied. Yep, it fell to his ankles. I wasn't there for the revealing but I guess there are no words to describe it.
After the parade was finished, current president Angie Miller and past president Carol Kapua headed for Portland to attend the Portland Rosaians Ball. Since then, along with past president Judy Anderson, they have also attended the Wenatchee Applarians Chancellors Ball.
Strawberry Festival's Board of Directors held their annual retreat on Saturday, Oct. 17, in the new office, located at 1059 State Avenue. Plans for the 2010 festival started taking shape and the new board members who were voted into office in August were introduced to the makings of a festival. Some new events are being discussed, old ones being revised and parades being decided on.
If you want to be involved with the Marysville Strawberry festival as a volunteer or a sponsor, you can find information on the Web site, www.maryfest.com. Or drop us an e-mail at email@example.com or phone (360) 659-7664. We look forward to hearing from you.