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Roll out the community spirit
By PAT JENKINS
Helping build a float taught Christine Martin that its possible to give up your Saturdays, get dirty and still have fun.
The float for Federal Ways Festival Days will make its first public appearance this morning in the annual events parade. Martin is counting on the labor of love getting a warm reception.
We think people will like it and feel proud that its a part of their community, said Martin, one of the floats main architects as chairwoman of the festivals marketing committee.
After going without one in previous years, festival organizers decided they wanted a community float for their own parade and to represent Federal Way in other festivals parades around Washington our ambassador on wheels, said Bob Hitchcock, Festival Days president. To make it happen, $10,000 in proceeds from last years Festival Days supplemented donations of float materials and labor.
The result is a creation 22 feet long, 13 feet wide and about 10 feet high at its tallest point a replica of Mount Rainier, which shares the platform with a scene of Dash Point State Park and a whimsical depiction of Federal Ways reputation for road construction, including the familiar Businesses open during construction signs. Balloons are used liberally in a recreation of the festivals logo measuring five feet by five feet.
Steel, plywood and fabric are other materials in the float, all mounted on the donated chassis of a 1985 Oldsmobile Toronado.
Weeks of Saturdays were spent on the project by Martin and her helpers, including her children, Suzanne Smith and Greg Edwards, a veteran floatbuilder for other communities.
Its been a lot of fun and work, said Martin, adding the work was frequently dirty.
The parade today will start at 11 a.m., winding along several streets downtown before ending at The Commons at Federal Way, the scene of most of the festival. The float will be parked at the mall for viewing until the festival ends Sunday.
Then it will be stored in a trailer at a location to be decided until next years schedule of parades at other festivals as many as one per month, Martin said leading up to the 2006 Festival Days, when a new design will be unveiled.
Units involving more than 1,900 people have signed up to be a part of todays parade, according to festival spokeswoman Barbara Reid. That doesnt include volunteers who will serve as parade marshals.
Editor Pat Jenkins: 925-5565, firstname.lastname@example.org