The cattle drew cheers. So did the color guards and marching bands. And the draft horses.
The shovel-wielding crews, whose job it was to perform pooper-scooper duty, also got some love, drawing whoops and applause.
The crowd lining the streets of downtown Puyallup Friday morning for the Western Rodeo Parade and Cattle Drive – which marks the start of the Puyallup Fair – didn’t discriminate when it came to showing appreciation.
Many seemed to like it all.
“It was awesome!” said Jimmy Manes, 7, of Puyallup, who watched with his family.
He liked the marching bands the best – musicians from several local schools performed – and said he could see himself in the parade one day.
“I’d play the violin,” he said.
Best pals Chandra Martinez, 34, of Puyallup and Theo Butler, 36, of Federal Way came with a group of family and friends. They danced as the bands marched by. They cheered parade participants – everything from a Joint Base Lewis-McChord contingent to a man dressed as Elvis pedaling a towering unicycle.
“It’s fun to bring the family, the kids,” Butler said.
For the fair’s first three hours, gate admission was free. That special opening-day deal, combined with sunny skies, made for a bustling first morning.
Fairgoers formed long lines for Fisher scones, Earthquake Burgers and other popular treats.
The rides and games saw plenty of action, too.
Many fairgoers also brought donations of nonperishable food for the Puyallup Food Bank.
The fair lasts 17 days, and for decades has drawn more than 1 million people.
A little before 10 a.m., Amy Cross, 36, stood with her sister-in-law, Natascha Rogers, 32, and Roger’s son, Logan, 3, at the tail end of the parade route. The Bonney Lake trio waited for the cattle and horses to thunder past, but couldn’t help thinking about what they’d do inside the fair gates once the parade was done.
Cross said fair treats are a must, and the animal exhibits and pumpkins are fun to check out, too.
Logan wasn’t feeling particularly talkative. But his mom said she was excited about introducing him to the fair.
It was a favorite childhood destination for her, and now she’s passing it on.
“I loved going when I was a kid,” Rogers said. “I always loved it.”