Sultan Shindig parade honors family of volunteers

SULTAN — The Shindig is a Koenig family tradition.

For 25 years, three generations have helped in setting up the parade, register participants and make sure the floats keep moving.

This year, they have a different position: the 2012 Shindig parade grand marshals.

“The kids are very excited about this,” Laura Koenig said. “They are really thrilled about being grand marshal.”

“It has been a shock to be in the foreground of this event,” her husband Darnell said.

Besides Darnell and Laura, son John and daughter Laura Olsen are also being recognized.

The four are sharing their vehicle with grandchildren Paxton, Kiara Koenig-Lee, both 18; Samantha, 17; Kaela Lee, 16; Derek and Dylan Lee, both 14.

They are leading the parade at 10:30 a.m. Saturday in downtown Sultan. The Shindig starts at 3 p.m. Friday and continues until 4 p.m. Sunday.

Besides the parade, there will be a free car show, live music and a logging contest.

Entrance to the carnival costs $20 if tickets are bought online before July 13. Cost increases to $25 after that.

Around 20,000 people are expected during the three days of the event.

This is the first time a family has been named grand marshal. Dylan and Derek are also the youngest ever to hold that title, Sky Valley Chamber of Commerce director Debbie Copple said.

“The kids have helped in the Shindig since they were old enough to walk,” Copple said.

Laura Koenig has seen the Shindig grow every year, but it still keeps the small community atmosphere.

“It’s a community celebration that involves community members,” she said.

The Koenigs are not dropping their responsibilities this year just because of the title, Darnell said.

“When the parade is over, we will do our normal chores,” Darnell said. “It’s hard work, but it’s fun for us.”

For more information, call 360-793-0983 or go to www.skyvalleychamber.com.

Alejandro Dominguez: 425-339-3422; adominguez@heraldnet.com.

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