This year’s Settler’s Day turned Deer Park Royalty Parade was as much about town spirit as it was about honoring its Royalty. As citizens of Deer Park gathered to cheer on the Royal Court of Miss Deer Park Ainsley Carpenter, Princess Isabella Sedona, and Princess Janessa Sexton, there also emerged an impromptu trail of citizens who joined in and followed the Royals along their parade route.
You can view a video of the parade on our YouTube Channel: DPGazette.com/paradevideo
This year’s Settler’s Parade, said to be the oldest in Washington State celebrating 99 years, had been officially cancelled due to Covid-19 regulations and precautions. However, a special request by the Miss Deer Park Scholarship Association to the Tri-State Settlers Day Association resulted in a new vote and an approval for “royalty only” to roll on the 4th Saturday in July set aside for this annual parade. Julie Prufer, president of the Settlers Association, said, “The group had a lot of compassion for the Royalty. Given all the events of this year, we decided to approve only the Royalty and its trailer.” Apparently, with this bit of good news, some residents couldn’t contain their passion and decided to join the parade itself.
Wearing traditional colors of red, white, and blue, Miss Deer Park Ainsley Carpenter and Princesses Isabella Sedona and Janessa Sexton beamed with smiles and enthusiasm as they waved to and danced for parade goers. “I know it was bitter sweet for the royalty but an awesome opportunity to get out around town during this trying time. I am so glad the community stepped up and came out to support not only the royalty but the Deer Park Float Association and all their hard work as well as the Settlers Committee and the town of Deer Park. I know we are all proud to call Deer Park home!” said Melissa Pyeatt, president & Royalty Advisor for Deer Park. As the only “official” float, they were led by police, ambulance, and fire vehicles. However, following them was an unexpected entourage of Grand Marshall Mike Reiter and a long line of antique, custom cars as well as some local business vehicles. Despite the initial confusion caused by the unexpected participants, parade goers enjoyed the entire event under a perfect sunny July morning. Any post parade festivities at Mix Park, or elsewhere, were kept private, as those events were also officially cancelled for the public due to Covid-19.