90th Annual Daffodil Parade

90th Annual Daffodil Parade

90th Annual Daffodil Parade

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This weekend, celebrate the 90th annual Daffodil Parade in Downtown Tacoma on Saturday, April 1st!

Historic photos courtesy of Tacoma Public Library’s NW Room Image Archive

History of the Daffodil Parade

The first ever Daffodil Festival took place in 1926 when visitors traveled to Sumner, Washington to explore the flower fields of Mr. and Mrs. Charles W. Orton, who hosted a garden party where varieties of their blooming daffodils could be admired. Guests included regional leaders like the mayors of Tacoma and Seattle, and a Commander at Fort Lewis who brought along a military band and members from the Army post. 

The garden party was such a spectacle that it became a grand annual tradition. Over the years, interest in the event grew so much that visitors would travel from far and wide. The Daffodil Festival was a place to see and be seen, but each spring, the massive crowds began to cause major traffic disruptions to the small town. 

Each year the fields of flowers expanded, and at the time, daffodil blooms were discarded or used for fertilizer at the end of the season. In 1934, a local photographer suggested the blooms should be used as decorations for a festival parade rather than going to waste. The idea took hold and the Daffodil Parade was born, visiting four Pierce County communities (Tacoma, Puyallup, Sumner and Orting) on Parade Day where cars, floats, bicycles and horses were adorned in the bright yellow flowers, drawing thousands of spectators to the spring celebration.

Photo courtesy of the Tacoma Public Library’s NW Room Image Archive

2023 Daffodil Parade 

90 years later, the Daffodil Parade is still a favorite tradition among locals and remains one of the most renowned events in the state, falling second to the Washington State Fair. 

Head to Downtown Tacoma on Saturday, April 1st where the parade will kick off at 10:15am, but be sure to arrive early as road closures along Pacific Avenue will impact parking and travel. 

The parade will take place rain or shine, and will be an energetic morning complete with talented drum lines, marching bands, cheer teams, festive floats, special cars, and more. See below to view the parade route. 

This year’s Daffodil Grand Marshals will include: 

  • Parade Grand Marshal: Marcus Trufant, a Tacoma native and former professional cornerback football player from the Seattle Seahawks representing the Trufant Family Foundation

Downtown Tacoma Parade Route 

  • S. 9th & Pacific Avenue: Parade staging will take place here. 
  • S. 12th & Pacific Avenue: The parade will begin here at 10:15am and will travel down Pacific Avenue to South 21st Street!

For more information, visit the Daffodil Festival’s website and social media

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