Hey, Federal Way, let's build a float


The Mirror

Everybody loves a parade, the saying goes. And a float could soon be a close second in Federal Way.

Volunteers are seeing to it that the parade for Federal Way's Festival Days this summer will have a hometown float. Organizers of the 17th annual festival plan to have one built in time to roll down the parade route Aug. 27, filling a void for the community event.

"Our own parade last year didn't have any floats representing Federal Way," noted Christine Martin, co-chairwoman of a committee that's accepting designs for a creation on wheels and signing up volunteers to help build it. "We want a float that our town can be proud of and that will promote Federal Way and Festival Days in other festivals' parades."

To make that happen, $10,000 in proceeds from last year's festival is earmarked for any float-making materials and related expenses that aren't donated.

Labor will be a heavily donated item, and that's where volunteers come in –– hopefully lots of them. Martin said welders, electricians, seamstresses and anyone else willing to work six to eight consecutive Saturdays starting in May are welcome.

And people can stay involved beyond the building of this float. They can accompany it to other parades next year and perhaps ride on it. And there will be floats for 2006 and succeeding years to build, Martin said.

She said the design of this year's inaugural float could come from virtually anyone. Ideas from the public are welcome, and ones that aren't picked could be in the running for future designs.

"This is a real community activity that we hope as many people will get involved with and enjoy," she said.

The committee is getting advice from Tom Grady, a former Federal Way resident who has helped build floats for the Marysville Strawberry Festival.

Festival Days carnival, exhibits and other family-oriented activities are scheduled for Aug. 26-28 downtown. Last year's event drew big crowds and was widely hailed as a success.

Editor Pat Jenkins: 925-5565,

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