With a look in a car mirror before stepping into the rain Thursday for her official portrait, the newest Daffodil Festival queen still couldn’t quite believe it.
“That happened, it wasn’t a dream,” Marin Sasaki said, retelling her selection. “Now it’s Queen Marin, it’s hard to get used to.”
Sasaki, a senior at Orting High School, was crowned Saturday at Tacoma’s Pantages Theater.
With her first appearance as queen coming a week later, Sasaki and the 22 members of her court were gearing up for the 84th annual Daffodil Festival and Parade on Saturday.
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“It’s really important for me to just represent Orting and represent our community because that is what this festival is about,” Sasaki said. “I am excited to just hold on to the ride”
And she’ll have to hold on literally, as Sasaki will spend the day atop a float with the rest Daffodil Festival princesses. You can find her dressed in white among the sea of yellow.
As the reigning monarch, Sasaki will spend her year out in the community, engaging in service work. Her favorites include reading to local children at libraries, a fond memory of her own childhood.
“It’s awesome for me because I used to go to the Orting library to be read to by princesses and it’s incredible that I can relive those kind of memories,” Sasaki said.
Sasaki will be just one of the highlights at this weekend’s festival, with the usual suspects including floats, dancers and classic cars that will travel the parade routes in Tacoma, Puyallup, Sumner and Orting.
In addition to the parade, other events this month will include the Daffodil 5K Challenge, the Junior Daffodil Parade and the Marine Festival and Parade.
This year’s theme is “Daffodil in Paradise.” Though spring has been anything but paradise, the rain and cold had a bright side for festival planners. Unseasonably cold weather delayed when the flowers bloom. The yellow blossoms will be at their freshest ever for the parade.
“These are the freshest daffodils that we have seen in a long time,” said executive director Steve James.
84th Annual Daffodil Parade
Start times: 10:15 a.m. Tacoma; 12:45 p.m. Puyallup; 2:30 p.m. Sumner; 5 p.m. Orting.
Daffodil 5K Challenge
What: Run or walk along a 5-kilometer course in each of the four communities hosting the Daffodil Parade.
When: Saturday. Tacoma race will start at 8:45 a.m., Puyallup at 11:15 a.m., Sumner at 1 p.m. and Orting at 3:30 p.m
Registration: $45 for one race; $95 for the four races. Registration will be open one hour before the start in each community.
Note: All participants must be off the course one hour after the start of the race. No pets are allowed on the course.
Junior Daffodil Parade
What: Child-focused parade in North Tacoma, featuring floats, bands, unicyclists and more.
When: 10 a.m. April 22.
Where: Parade runs along North Proctor Street from North 28th Street, then down North 26th Street to Washington Street, finishing outside Wheelock Library, 3722 N. 26th St.
Daffodil Marine Festival and Parade
What: Boat clubs from the Puget Sound area gather for a weekend of festivities, including a parade of daffodil-decorated vessels from the Tacoma Yacht Club into the Foss Waterway. Trophies awarded for best-decorated vessels according to the theme, “Daffodil in Paradise.” Awards from the Daffodil Festival princesses.
When: April 21-23; parade will begin at 11:30 a.m. April 23; awards ceremony at 2:30 p.m April 23.
Where: Boats will depart from the Tacoma Yacht Club at Point Defiance and sail along the waterfront to near the Museum of Glass on the Thea Foss Waterway. Good places to watch include the Ruston Way waterfront park and the promenade parallel to Dock Street.
The 2017 Daffodil Festival royal court
Queen: Marin Sasaki, Orting High School.
Princesses: Amanda Fisher, Franklin Pierce; Amaya Fox, Wilson; Brianna Bryant, Bethel; Bridget Gray, Stadium; Christine Lew, Lakes; Courtney Gelmini, White River; Elizabeth Larios, Sumner; Haley Leeper, Curtis; Heather Haugen, Bonney Lake; Jalin Whitemarsh, Washington; Jane McDonald, Emerald Ridge; Kate Meinecke, Fife; Leilani Espino, Mount Tahoma; Mabel Thompson, Spanaway Lake; Macy Nuber, Puyallup; Meghan LaLiberte, Rogers; Naravie Phaisan, Lincoln; Sarah Litzenberger, Eatonville; Serena Bolden, Graham-Kapowsin; Tallia Campbell, Chief Leschi; Thipsuda Srinakrung, Henry Foss; and Vilma Alvarado Garcia, Clover Park.