Evergreen State Fair delivers again

From Ixtapa's dazzling display of dancing horses to the Monroe High School Bearcat football team, the Monroe Fair Days Parade had a little bit of everything ' including a dynamic surge of wind and rain. Fortunately, the gusty, wet weather waited politely until the tail end of the vibrant 90-minute event to make its official entrance.

This year's parade took place from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.-á on-áSaturday, Aug. 29, on Main Street. A Monroe tradition for more than 75 years, the parade was put together by the Monroe Chamber of Commerce and the Monroe Fair Days Parade Committee. In addition to ushering in the Evergreen State Fair and celebrating Monroe through an experience of color and sound, the event also serves to honor those for demonstrating dedication to the community.

This year, Ben Franklin Frame and Craft Shop owner Adrian Taylor was honored as the Monroe Fair Days Parade Grand Marshall, in recognition of his service to the city. Taylor, who serves on the Monroe Chamber of Commerce board of directors, has been in business for more than 40 years.

The Evergreen State Fair honored longtime fair volunteers Ed and Vicki Miller. Each year, Ed can be found snuggling baby piglets at the fair and offering numerous excited children the opportunity to pet one.

Longtime parade emcee Jerry "Big DogGÇ¥ Dixon was back in the saddle this year, after being absent last year due to his daughter's wedding. The boisterous professional DJ provided music and served as the official Monroe Fair Days Parade host. He shared the spotlight with friend Ashar MacKenzie, who volunteered to serve as the official parade announcer.

"I really enjoyed it,GÇ¥ MacKenzie said. "It was a blast and I am looking forward to next year already.GÇ¥

The parade was followed by a celebratory street fair, held on West Main Street in between Lewis and Blakeley. Monroe Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Una Wirkebau and operations manager Shelley Nyhammer collaberated with Farm to Table Farmers Market Coordinator Molly Daniels to facilitate the street fair, which included food, vendors and a beer garden.

The parade started off on a high note with Monroe's multijurisdictional honor guard. For many years, only the Monroe Police Department Honor Guard marched in the parade. Last year they were joined by the Monroe Correctional Complex Honor Guard, thus establishing a new tradition.

Next, Monroe High School senior Corrina Roppo stole the show with her rendition of the National Anthem. Roppo is involved with both the Monroe High School jazz choir and barbershop choir. A member of the National Honors Society, Roppo serves on the Monroe High School Link Crew and plays varsity basketball.

She told parade organizers she hopes to eventually become a music teacher.

"I was touched that, with talent like hers, she wants to become a music teacher,GÇ¥ said Monroe resident Linda Connor Gruenewald. "She has a very unique tone and style that was refreshing to hear.GÇ¥-á

This year's event was judged by Monroe Chamber of Commerce Treasurer Meghan Manning, Hill Street Cleaners owner Eldon Bartelheimer, Promociones Nayarit organizer Danny Hernandez, Ixtapa Mexican Restaurant manager Tony Lozano, Monroe School District Superintendent Dr. Fredrika Smith and CityCenter Marketing Solutions CEO Dan Evans.

This year's parade winners were:

" Best Cheer Team ' Monroe High School Cheerleaders

" Best Nonprofit ' the Sky Valley Senior Center

" Monroe High School Bearcats ' Best Youth Entry

" Best Specialty Performance ' Platinum Dance Center

" Best Equestrian ' Snohomish Valley Equestrian Team

" Best Commercial ' Da Bus, featuring Chef Adam Hoffman, Ernst "DutchmanGÇ¥ Ter Horst and the Studio Down Low Dancers

" Best Overall Performance ' the Ixtapa Dancing Horses

Photo by Jim Scolman Children gather around for opening day in the Pig Barn at the Evergreen State Fair. Photo by Jim Scolman The Evergreen State Fair in Monroe opened to high heat and large crowds on Thursday, Aug. 27. High heat brought out sun hats and shade parasols. Photo by Joshua Scheffer Ixtapa Family Mexican Restaurant had a strong showing at the Monroe Fair Days Parade, its dancing horses taking Best Overall Performance. The event was judged by members of the Monroe Chamber of Commerce, Hill Street Cleaners, CityCenter Marketing Solutions, Promociones Nayarit, Ixtapata Restaurant manager Tony Lozano and Monroe School District Superintendent Fredrika Smith. These mariache players added to the sounds of the parade. Photo by Chris Hendrickson The Seattle Seahawks Sea Gals came out again for the Monroe Fair Days Parade held on Main Street on Saturday, Aug. 29.Photo by Chris Hendrickson The Monroe High School band marches in the Monroe Fair Days Parade along Main Street on Saturday, Aug. 29.


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