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What You Need to Know About the Junior Daffodil Parade

Community Post Professional Headshot of Community Post April 17, 2017

The Daffodil Festival and Parade are a big deal in Pierce County, and many locals love heading out to join their community in celebrating the region’s history, culture, and of course, the start of spring! The main Daffodil Parade takes place in early April (gets tips on where to watch the Daffodil Parade here!), but there’s also a smaller kid-focused parade—the Junior Daffodil Parade!

“The Jr. Daffodil Parade is a fun one for younger kids or people with short attention spans,” shares Laura Oellerich. ‘[There are] lots of kids’ groups and clubs, middle school bands, unicycles and dogs. [It’s] short and sweet.”

This year, the junior parade takes place on April 22nd, 2017 at 10am. Here are a few other interesting and helpful tidbits about the Junior Daffodil Parade:

The Junior parade takes place in the Proctor District.

The parade used to be held in Downtown Tacoma, but moved to the Proctor District in 1991. A historic district that is brimming with character and charm, Proctor is a popular destination neighborhood for locals and out-of-towners alike. Proctor’s small-town atmosphere is home to several shops, popular restaurants, and even its very own farmers market. Enjoy the parade, and stay for some shopping and lunch! You can take a look at the parade route here.

The Daffodil Festival has been a local tradition for several decades now.

The festival started in 1926, and the parade portion of the festival began in 1934. Each year has seen a parade, except for 1943-1945 during World War II. The first Junior Daffodil parade took place in 1961 and has been going strong ever since.

The Junior parade is, of course, all about kids!

One of the few requirements for participation in the actual parade is that your group must have children in it. It’s all about getting creative, whether you have a beautifully designed float or are just walking with a fun costume on! This is a great opportunity for schools, sports teams, scout groups, and other organizations to come together and show off their creations and team spirit.

Attending or participating in the parade can create wonderful lifelong memories.

“I have fun memories of participating in the Jr. Daffodil Parade as a kid with the Jason Lee Drill Team,” shares Erin Farquhar. “What we lacked in talent we made up for in spirit! The parade is great way for families to connect with the community and an opportunity for kids to feel like a rockstar for a day.”

Kelli Jo Hjalseth and her family have been attending the parade for a long time now: “We marched for years with the Cub Scouts. It was a fun tradition and it always amazed me how they could coordinate hundreds of kiddos to pull it off! It was always so entertaining and heartwarming to watch how proud the kids were to be marching—just a big ball of bright community sunshine! Our kids are grown and we still walk to Proctor to watch the Parade.”

Can’t make it in person this year? The parade will be on TV, and will even replay every day the following week. You can learn more about the Junior Daffodil Parade here!

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