Arts and Entertainment

Squeaky wheels get parade glory

Nancy White, Susan Chamberlin and Darlene Rose make up the Fall City Shopping Cart Drill Team. Their humorous role in the Fall City Days grand parade helps drum up interest in the festival watermelon eating contest and the Fall City Food Pantry. - Seth Truscott / Snoqualmie Valley Record
Nancy White, Susan Chamberlin and Darlene Rose make up the Fall City Shopping Cart Drill Team. Their humorous role in the Fall City Days grand parade helps drum up interest in the festival watermelon eating contest and the Fall City Food Pantry.
— image credit: Seth Truscott / Snoqualmie Valley Record

In a rattle of wheels and a blaze of color, the three members of Fall City’s own Shopping Cart Drill Team marched down State Highway 202.

Nancy White, Darlene Rose and Susan Chamberlin got together for their first practice run this week prior to Fall City Days.

Back by popular demand, they will perform for the third year in a row in the grand parade, which starts at 11:15 a.m. Saturday, June 20.

Contrary to popular belief, the women do not spend an hour every day running shopping carts up and down the aisles at Farmhouse Market. In truth, they only practice once.

Still, the trio take their drill team duties very seriously.

“This is an athletic sport,” White said. “It takes coordination and effort to push a shopping cart down Fall City’s main street.”

The highway’s bumpy surface poses a challenge as the drill team members conduct their piroutes, bows and pinwheels. But it’s good exercise.

The rattle of the carts poses a challenge of its own. Last year, the drill team ladies played kazoos, and could barely hear themselves.

The trio’s carts are borrowed from Farmhouse Market, and their shirts are dyed to look like watermelons — that’s because the three are also the organizers of the annual watermelon eating contest at Fall City Days.

Are they ever embarassed to walk down the main drag with the carts.

“Never,” White said.

“Yes, with our watermelon hat on,” rebutted Rose.

“I know it’s going to be fun, just to see those faces, and to give people watermelon,” she added. Many watermelon contest contestants come back year after year, bringing their ribbons from years past.

“That’s what keeps us doing this,” she said.

Each year, Farmhouse Market provides a pallet of watermelons for the contest and also volunteers costumed staff who walk behind the drill team in the parade.

“They have a lot of energy and have a blast doing it,” Market owner Jay Bluher said.

“Seeing the contest is cool,” he added. “I am happy to donate the watermelons and be a part of it.”

This year, the drill team is making an effort to help the Fall City Food Pantry. Donations to help the local food bank will be accepted at the watermelon eating contest, which starts at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Quigley Park, as well as at booths downtown and during the parade.

There may alsol be volunteers in the parade to pick up donated goods.

Parade watchers are reminded not to donate food directly in the drill team’s carts. Remember, these are high-performance machines.

“It’s going to weigh us down,” Rose said.

The Fall City Shopping Cart Drill Team is always looking for new members. To get involved, e-mail Nancy at junkmail_naw@comcast.net.

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