Lakefair’s grand parade kicked off under perfect conditions Saturday, with sunny skies, several thousand spectators along the parade route and the smell of barbecue wafting through the air.
The Tenino Motorcycle Drill Team appeared yet again, now in its 30th year, to warm up the crowd before the parade began, its eight members performing various motorcycle-based drills captain Chad Bowman, said.
The group has had a longtime preparade role entertaining the crowd, he said, and it is one of more than 24 events the drill team participates in throughout the state, traveling as far east to Ephrata and north to Port Townsend. The group also performs at the Olympia Toy Run, Bowman said.
Once the drill team finished, about 100 parade entries made their way down Capitol Way, beginning close to 20th Avenue and ending near Heritage Park.
Executive director Bob Barnes said this year’s parade had more band units, more horse units and the float count was higher, too.
The first float in the parade was the Lakefair float, which transported the 2013 royalty, including Queen Katherine “Katt” Nguyen of Capital High School.
This year’s Lakefair theme was Capital Lakefair Rocks and the royalty didn’t disappoint, dancing atop the float to “Great Balls of Fire” by Jerry Lee Lewis.
Nguyen was selected queen in February — the coronation used to take place during Lakefair — and has spent the past year traveling throughout the Northwest and Canada, she said. She said she has participated in about 15 events, including parades and speaking engagements.
It was great to be back in Olympia, she said.
“I get to help people enjoy their Lakefair experience,” Nguyen said.
After high school, she plans to attend the University of Washington where she wants to study biochemistry to become a doctor.
Along the parade route, Carla Martin of Olympia had settled in to watch.
She said she missed it the past few years because a longtime friend — someone she used to go to parades with — had passed away from cancer.
But she was back Saturday to enjoy it with friend Robert Rappe of Olympia.
Rolf Boone: 360-754-5403 email@example.com