PIERCE COUNTY, Wash. -- Every spring, the annual Daffodil Festival and Parade brings the community together, but for the first time since WWII, festivities have been canceled due to coronavirus concerns.
"This was our first year going so I was a little disappointed but saving lives is much more important," said Pam Peterson of Orting.
For the festival's 23 princesses, it was especially heartbreaking because they are also high school seniors that are already missing out on prom and graduation.
"When we found out we were very devastated. First, the parade was going to be canceled and we had some hope that we'd go back to school and this will all be settled, but then we found out school was going to be canceled and so it was very sad," said Princess Nathalie.
So the girls took to Instagram and Facebook to bring Parade Week virtually, celebrating with activities and events the community can do from home. They held a Princess Dance Party, Float competition, draw with a princess day, and read with a princess day.
With no parade, this year's theme of "Honoring the Past" was very fitting as festival organizers asked parade-goers to look back at past parades and post photos and videos of their favorite memories.
Princess Nathalie says being a princess means being a role model, and bringing hope and encouragement to her community.
"Soon we are going to be able to hug our grandparents and see our family, and have summer bbq's and hang out again, so I guess don't give up hope because we'll get there," said Nathalie.
Knutson Farms in Sumner provides half a million daffodils to the parade every year and they took a financial hit this year, but they are still in good spirits, saying there is always next year.