The Daffodil Festival’s Deep Roots

Each spring, Pierce County erupts in shades of yellow for the annual Daffodil Festival. Although we might rally around the parades or excite in who will be crowned daffodil royalty, few are aware of just how intrinsic this celebration is to our local origins. In 1925, the Puyallup Valley first brought daffodils into its fields, reviving farmland left desolate from the declining hops industry. The flowers took to the temperate climate and nutrient-rich soil with immediate success, and soon more than 200 varieties populated the region. In 1934, a parade was born in celebration of the blossoming bulbs. This image was taken during the first-ever Daffodil Festival in March 1934. Three women — Billye Fairchild, Frankie Cowan, and Betty Brumbaugh — pose in flowered gowns and wide-brimmed hats, each holding a bouquet of daffodils. Had there been a contest to pick a daffodil queen in the early days of the festival, we’re sure they would have been in the running. 

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