The Daffodil Festival is a Pierce County tradition dating all the way back to 1934. As Sharon Chambers-Gordon shared with us, the festival is a celebration of our region’s rich agricultural industry. The festival and parade are a time when the community comes together, and the Daffodil Parade is one of the many events that locals look forward to!
The parade makes its way through 4 cities, including Tacoma, Puyallup, Sumner, and Orting (in that order), and there’s also a Daffodil Marine Parade that’s hosted by the Tacoma Yacht Club. We recommend taking a look at the latest parade start times so you can be sure not to miss out on the festivities!
Read on for more parade-viewing tips:
The Daffodil Parade starts in Tacoma and makes its way down Pacific Avenue: “I always liked pulling up a curb along Pacific Ave and being part of the crowd! Dress in layers, as you can never predict what weather we might have that day,” Debbie Homeyer advises.
Also, although it is not part of the main parade, the Junior Daffodil Parade in Tacoma is also worth checking out. It takes places on a different day, and is more geared towards children. Laura Oellerich highly recommends it: “I always enjoy the Jr. Daffodil Parade in Proctor. You get to see all of the younger kids. Jr. High School Bands, adorable kids from 4-H, scouts, kids on unicycles, and other organizations are there,” Laura shares. “It’s great family fun!”
The Puyallup portion of the parade takes place in historic Downtown Puyallup. It heads down 7th Ave, takes a left down South Meridian, winds around Meeker Ave and 3rd Street, and finishes on 4th Ave. It’s hard to have a bad view in this charming neighborhood. If you are bringing kids with you and arrive early, they can play at the Pioneer Park playground while they wait for the parade to start!
“Sumner is the most quintessential place to watch the Daffodil Parade because of its small town vibe,” shares Leighanne Cheslik. “Takes you back in time!”
Sumner’s portion of the parade heads right down Main Street, and Leighanne is right—its quaint atmosphere makes it an ideal spot to take in views of the parade. We recommend sticking around for some shopping or dining afterwards!
The Daffodil Parade ends in Orting, and here, spectators can take in the view on Washington Avenue. “The Daffodil Parade finale in Orting warms my heart!” says Krista Osborne. “It’s almost a step back in time to when and where EVERYONE in town comes out to celebrate, feast and enjoy the magnificent procession. The small town feel is still alive and well in Orting and what a great place to rub elbows with some Daffodil Royalty, get a close-up look at the parade participants, floats, Corvette's donning princesses, and the opportunity to escape, if just for a couple of hours, into the first kiss of spring.”
Daffodil Marine Parade
This separate Daffodil Festival event is a must-see spectacle for those who love our region’s maritime culture and history! Enjoy the sight of dozens of yachts and marine vessels all decked out in festive decor as they parade down the Tacoma waterfront and Thea Foss Waterway.
“If you are looking for a great spot to grab an adult beverage and enjoy the marine parade, you can't beat Rock The Dock Pub & Grill just across from the Seaport Museum on the Thea Foss Waterway. You might also be lucky enough to hear a local musician or two,” recommends Kelli Jo Hjalseth.
Michael McNiel has another recommendation for where to take in the Marine Parade view: “Put on your warm clothing, stock the thermos, and head down to Les Davis Pier on Ruston Way and watch it while you're over the water.” Great idea, Michael!