The chance of sprinkles gave way to sunny skies, making the 74th Azalea Festival parade a spectacular event.
Antique tractors are a part of Azalea Festival parade that attracted a crowd that lined Chetco Avenue. The Pilot / Bill Schlichting
Thousands of spectators lined Chetco Avenue and Oak Streets to enjoy the parade Saturday morning that followed the theme “Fish, Flowers and Forests.”
Members of Soroptimist International of Brookings watched the parade from the back of a pickup at Chetco Avenue and Center Street. There, many entries showed their best.
Topping the parade — the winner of the Sweepstakes Award — was a multi-float entry by the Curry County Fair.
The float depicted the fish, flowers and forests offered by Curry County as well as everything the fair has to offer.
Parade trophies were presented during the Azalea Park program following the parade. No one from Curry County Fair was present to receive the trophy.
Only two groups that received trophies were present to receive their prizes — members of the Curry County Democrats (entry 50) accepted a trophy for the President’s Award for best use of flowers, and Brookings City Pool (entry 48), which received the Mayor’s Award for most original float.
Also winning awards at the Azalea Park program following the parade were:
•Grand Marshal’s Award, best use of special effects – entry 26, Tsunami Sirens roller derby team;
•Queen’s Award, best use of color – entry 17, Curry County Relay for Life;
•Best Equestrian Unit – entry 45, Curry County 4-H;
•Best Antique and Classic Car – entry 41, Curry County Cruisers;
•Best Band – Phoenix High School.
The parade kicked off with a K-9 demonstration. Officer John McKinney in a modified Chevrolet Camaro peeled-out, catching the attention of Officer Kyle Kennedy who pursued the criminal. When McKinney disobeyed Kennedy’s commands and attempted to flee, Bady was released to capture the criminal.
The parade then followed with the color guards taking the lead followed by the dozens of floats. Several floats included stops for performances, such as the Tsunami Sirens presenting jumps over people in the street, Curry County Youth Football cheerleaders demonstrating a cheer, and Brookings-Harbor Community Theater performing the song “Be Our Guest” from its current musical “Beauty and the Beast,” which has performances remaining on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, May 31, June 1 and 2.
There were also floats that carried dignitaries including Pioneer Citizens Lee and Laura Gardner, Grand Marshal Dave Gordon, and the Azalea Festival court — ueen Kayla Webre and princesses Brandi Rodgers, Jessica McKee, Sara Ziemer and Taylor Simon.
Following the parade, the dignitaries met at Azalea Park where each princess was escorted to the stage. Master of Ceremonies Les Cohen, Brookings-Harbor Chamber of Commerce executive director, also introduced Gordon and presented a framed award to the Gardners for being the pioneer citizens.
All of the dignitaries had a busy day Saturday attending the Azalea Festival art show, quilt show, where they chose their favorite, and pioneer citizens’ reception at Chetco Valley Historical Society museum.