This year’s parade was so compact that it circled the block two times to give the festival attendees another look at the human-sized asparagus leading the charge, the asparagus queen, the rowdy green kazoo band and more.
The parade embodies everything that works about the asparagus festival, and what keeps festival attendance growing year after year: quirkiness, fun, and an enduring love for a vegetable the community is genuinely excited to celebrate. Even the tween asparagus queen, Amelia Burke—who was less democratically elected than handed the title from her aunt who is the parade’s grand master—can articulate exactly how she likes to eat asparagus. “My mom makes it with balsamic vinegar,” she says. “I love it a lot.”
After the festival wraps up, the asparagus queen says she’ll make sure she continues spreading goodwill in the community. “My church makes cookies for the homeless,” she says. Then, after a pause, “but it’s hard for me not to eat them.”
Reign on, Amelia. Reign on.
[Photos: Lara Zielin]