The Monroe Fair Days Parade was a veritable festival of bright colors, dazzling dance performances, talented cheerleaders, football players, beauty queens, historical tributes and much more.
The parade began at 11 a.m. and lasted until just past 12:30 p.m., at which point attendees had the opportunity to enjoy barbecue sandwiches, pizza from Papa’s Wood-Fired Pizza, espresso and a beer garden which were all organized by the Monroe Chamber of Commerce and set up near Frank Wagner Elementary School.
There was also a photo booth and a climbing wall, which was a hit with both kids and adults.
The parade began with the color-guard, which was multi-jurisdictional this year. Traditionally, the Monroe Police Department has formed the color-guard exclusively, but this year they shared the honor with personnel from the Monroe Correctional Complex.
While the colors were presented, recent Monroe High School graduate Marcus Thornton sang the National Anthem. Thornton sang in the choir while at Monroe High School, and played the lead in the school’s production of Oklahoma! last year. He will be attending Western Washington University this fall and is planning on studying music education.
The year’s Monroe Fair Days Parade Grand Marshall was JoAnn Carbonetti, an award-winning educator who worked for the Monroe School District for 18 years. Carbonetti, who retired this year, has been in education for a total of 42 years.
This year’s Junior Grand Marshall was 10-year-old Abbey Aney, who has made a name for herself as one of the most charitable girls in the Sky Valley area. Ever since she was 4 years old, Aney has organized massive Christmas toy drives so that less fortunate kids have been able to receive toys during the holidays.
The 4th grader has collected and donated over 12,500 toys, often purchasing them with her own money.
Pam Phelps was the Evergreen State Fair Honoree, who was recognized for her 43 years of volunteer service at the fair.
The parade also included appearances by many local politicians including Monroe Mayor Geoffrey Thomas, Monroe City Councilmembers Patsy Cudaback, Kevin Hanford and Jim Kamp, Washington State Senator Kirk Pearson, 39th District Rep. Elizabeth Scott, United States Congresswoman Suzan DelBene, Sultan Mayor Carolyn Eslick, who was promoting her campaign for Snohomish County Executive, and Snohomish County Councilman Dave Somers, who was being driven by Sultan resident Ole Carlson.
Rep. Scott was in the parade both as the incumbent and also promoting her campaign as she will be facing candidate Charles Jensen, who was also in the parade, during November’s election.
Many Monroe-based businesses marched in the parade, as well as nonprofits and the local schools. The Ixtapa Dancing Horses dazzled the crowd, as did Seahawks cheerleader Jessica Irwin, a 4-year Sea Gal veteran. Irwin, who was with another Sea Gal named Angelique, is from Monroe.
Monroe High School had a heavy presence in the parade and included the Monroe Bearcats Football Team with new head coach Brett Jay, the Monroe Dance Cats, the high school marching band, varsity and junior varsity cheerleaders and more.
Many parade attendees giggled when the Monroe Boys and Girls Club van broke down right at the very end of the parade’s route, near Frank Wagner Elementary School. Quite serendipitous was the fact that Sky Valley Towing came through almost immediately behind them, so rescue was close at hand.
And in the meantime, Monroe Police Sgt. Brian Johnston, along with several other individuals, helped push the van out of the way.
While many trophies were given out in numerous categories, the award for best parade presentation overall went to the Colors of Hawaii. Cyndi Pa owns the Colors of Hawaii gift shop, located in Lake Stevens. In additional to winning for best overall, she also won 2nd place in the Equestrian category. Pa was extremely excited about both of her trophies.
“I’m very surprised,” exclaimed Pa.
Here are the parade winners broken down by category:
Commercial Vehicle: 1st place, Brookdale at Monroe; 2nd place, Kids Country; 3rd place, Open Road RV. Dance and Cheer: 1st place, Sky Valley Academy; 2nd place, Bearcat Mini Cheer; 3rd place, Monroe High School Dance Cats. Equestrian: 1st place, Ixtapa Dancing Horses; 2nd place, Colors of Hawaii; 3rd place, Miss Aquafest. Best Float: 1st place, Marysville Strawberry Festival; 2nd place, Alice in Wonderland; 3rd place, Sky Valley Bible Church. Historic Entries: 1st place, Sky Valley Stock & Antique Tractor Club; 2nd place, Western Heritage Center Museum. Motor Club: 1st place, Puget Sound H.O.G. Chapter #2052.
Nonprofit: 1st place, East County Senior Center; 2nd place, Monroe Boys and Girls Club; 3rd place, Monroe Sky Valley YMCA. Novelty: 1st place, Dachshunds on Parade; 2nd place, 2014 Sky Valley Royalty; 3rd place, Ronald McDonald. Specialty Performance: 1st place, The Gunslingers Drill Team; 2nd place, Dakota Neuman; 3rd place, Master Ji’s Taekwando Martial Arts. Walking Group: 1st place, Sky Valley Relay for Life; 2nd place, Puget Sound Pediatric Dentistry.
Best Overall: Colors of Hawaii