Volunteers can help with Sumner float

I don’t know about the rest of you, but this cold, snowy, rainy weather we’ve had lately is definitely putting a damper on my “Swing into Spring” mood. I can only imagine how it’s affecting the daffodils that normally start thinking about blooming in March. First it’s sunny, then it’s cold, then it’s a balmy rain and just when you think we’ve made it through winter, here comes the snow again. While that’s not unusual in our mountain passes, it’s not quite so normal in the valley.

Regardless of the climate, volunteers are hard at work creating the Sumner community float entry for the upcoming April 4 Daffodil Festival Grand Floral Street Parade. For those of you who are new to our area, this is the 75th anniversary of the Daffodil Parade. It is a four-city parade which starts in Tacoma, then travels through Puyallup, then downtown Sumner and concludes with a finale through the city of Orting.

If you are from the area and have grown up with this bright yellow valley tradition, you may have read various articles in the local newspapers about the challenges facing the Daffodil Festival over the last six or eight months. The organization has been meeting with various communities for input and suggestions, hosting a variety of fundraisers to augment their current funding partnerships and more. Robyn DeLorm, director of funding and community relations for the Daffodil Festival, reports that enough funds have been raised for the Daffodil Festival traveling float to be scheduled to attend 20 out of town/day festivals this spring, summer and fall. Committed supporters of the festival like Sumner Rotary and Boeing Employees Credit Union have stepped up as financial partners and many more commitments are in the works. Being able to reciprocate with a Daffodil Festival traveling float entry in out-of-town parades is essential to maintaining the quality and number of entries in our local parade so this news is music to my ears.

But if you are from the Sumner area and are interested in working on our community float, you can e-mail me at shelly@sumnerdowntown.com and I will make sure you are added to the “floaters” e-mail notice that seems to be going out almost daily now. We have a fabulously fun volunteer group that works on this project under the direction of float meister Ben DeGoede. I try to attend these meetings when my schedule allows because I’m always sure to be laughing while I work. For some reason, they like to give me a bad time. My understanding is that things are running smoothly now, but they will be looking for volunteers for flower cutting and final assembly on April 3, the day before the parade. Assembly day is just plain fun and a great way to meet others from our community.

So if you’ve ever watched the parade and wanted to be involved somehow, this is a great way to dip your toes in our volunteer waters. Come find out for yourself why I keep telling folks it’s fun to “Spend Some Time in Sumner.”