If you didn't see Capital Lakefair Parade, you might have heard it
Jul 21, 2012 (Menafn - The Olympian - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --The roar of Harley-Davidson motorcycle engines echoed off buildings along Capitol Way on Saturday afternoon, a sign the Lakefair Grand Parade was about to commence.
Members of the Tenino Motorcycle Drill Team raced down the street, leaving behind a cloud of sidewalk chalk dust as thousands of people lining the streets cheered.
Some had barbecues with family members on their front lawns; others watched on from apartment and hotel balconies.
Nancy Schmidt, a former Shelton resident, said it seemed like just yesterday that she was marching the long parade route down Capitol Way with her Jazzercise team.
She opted to be a casual observer this time around. She recently moved to California and has spent the past several weeks visiting family. Going to Lakefair and seeing the parade was a must.
Schmidt was holding seats three hours before the parade for herself, husband Steve and 5-year-old daughter Denia while father and daughter enjoyed the Kids Day festivities at Sylvester Park.
"It's the right size -- it's not so small that it's not worth the hassle, but not so big that it is a hassle," Schmidt said.
Denia could hardly contain her excitement.
"She says it's the best day she's ever had," Steve Schmidt said.
There were more than 100 floats entered to keep the onlookers entertained, along with cotton candy, volleyball games on the Capitol Campus, street vendors and a handful of street performers.
Recently crowned Lakefair Queen Macy Allaire lead the royalty-themed floats by swing-dancing and waiving with the rest of the Lakefair royalty.
Not far behind were royalty from Port Orchard -- the queen and three princess of the Fathoms O' Fun Fantasy in the Sand float.
Their professionally made float featured a red dragon with a moving head, a tail, a mouth and red eyes that light up. Every so often the driver of the float would have the dragon breathe smoke.
The effect wasn't pleasant for those riding the float.
"It smells like an inhaler," said Aleisha Miller, 17.
She and her twin sister, Alexis, were princesses. It was their first time being involved in a pageant.
"One of the girls that won last year had a huge crown and really pushed for us to try," Alexis said.
Tamika Tiller, 18, was chosen as queen and had always dreamed of being in a pageant. She's dressed as Miss Universe for the past two Halloweens.
"It's sad our season is almost over," she said.
The girls have participated in more than 20 parades.
The cheerleaders from Olympia High School also were parade veterans.
Kylie Bartlett and Paige Ruffier, both 17, were walking in the Lakefair Parade for the second time. They said the cheerleaders have worked on their marching routine for more than a month.
"It's a great chance to get involved in the community," Ruffier said.
Both were thankful the weather held out this year. Sunshine and warming afternoon temperatures meant onlookers took shade under umbrellas as volunteers passed out free bottles of cold water.
"We walked in the rain last year," Bartlett said.
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