The Daffodil Festival’s 86th Grand Floral Parade returns to Pierce County on Saturday.
This year’s theme is “A Heart for Service” and features 140 entries presided over by Daffodil Queen Katie Gilbert and her 22 white-glove-clad princesses.
Sumner native and Food Network star Sandra Lee will be the parade’s grand marshal. Lee is known as the creator of the “Semi-Homemade” cooking style brand.
The parade’s floats will display 350,000 daffodils. Along with dancers, marching bands and mounted units will wind through Tacoma, Puyallup, Sumner and Orting.
“There are over 5,000 people who participate in the Puyallup leg of the parade, rain or shine,” said parade director Steve James.
The Daffodil Festival — and its iconic yellow flower — celebrates youth, service to community and the approach of spring. One of the floats in Saturday’s parade will hold the royal court of 23 Daffodil princesses led by Gilbert from White River High School — the school’s first queen, according to James.
Gilbert is in Future Farmers of America and plays tennis in high school. She intends to be a forensic psychologist.
The queen and princesses are selected each year from girls nominated by Pierce County high schools.
The Emerald Queen Casino is sponsoring the parade.
DAFFODIL FESTIVAL GRAND FLORAL PARADE
When and where: Saturday, starting at 10:15 a.m. in Tacoma, 12:45 p.m. in Puyallup, 2:30 p.m. in Sumner and 5 p.m. in Orting.
In Tacoma, the parade runs down Pacific Avenue, from 12th to 21st streets.
On TV: 10:30 a.m. Sunday KOMO 4.
JUNIOR DAFFODIL PARADE
When: 10 a.m. April 13.
Where: North Proctor Street at North 26th Street, Tacoma.
DAFFODIL MARINE PARADE
When: 11:30 a.m. April 14
Where: From Tacoma Yacht Club to Thea Foss Waterway.