There were clowns, unicyclists, pooches and princesses.
And a whole lot of daffodils.
Crowds lined the streets of the Proctor District on Saturday for the 54th annual Junior Daffodil Parade. True to its name, it was largely kids that marched the route.
The event, which started in 1961, complements the other Daffodil Festival parades that coincide with the event each spring. Princesses, 24 this year, are chosen from Pierce County high schools, and one was crowned queen March 28.
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Walking toward the front of the parade in matching track suits, pink sneakers and tiaras, the girls were stars of the show for kids watching Saturday.
Noah Kissel, 3, of Tacoma had a big smile when one of the princesses stopped to give him a daffodil.
When asked who gave him the flower, he grinned and said, “a girl.”
After an announcer introduced the Multicultural Child and Family Hope Center as representatives from the nonprofit walked by, Noah gave a great big cheer, shouting “Yay!”
The unicycles, mom Heather Kissel said, were also a big hit.
She was in the parade herself as a Campfire girl when she was young. It was Noah’s first time at the procession.
“I’m seeing it through new eyes with him,” Kissel said. “I didn’t think he’d be this excited, but he’s loving it.”
David Fortescue, 35, of Tacoma said he’d been coming to the parade since he was a kid, for about 30 years.
“Now we bring our kids,” he said.
And his almost 10-year-old malamute, Denali.
He wasn’t one of the dogs in the parade, but he had a lot to say about it, howling from the sidelines off and on and getting lots of pets and attention from bystanders.
2015 marks the first time, according to one of the announcers, that girls made up the color guard for the parade. Local Girl Scouts filled the role.
Riley Fuhrman, 8, of Eatonville walked in sash and tiara as one of the Miss Pierce County Little Princesses. She said one of her favorite parts of the day was “seeing the (Daffodil) princesses on the side.”
After walking the route themselves, the princesses had front-row seats for the rest of the procession.
The polar bear mascot of Point Defiance Elementary School stopped to high-five the young ladies as they watched the parade.