PASCO -- The Pasco Chamber of Commerce will celebrate this Fourth of July in high style by unveiling its special-edition purple and silver float in Wednesday's parade.
"A float is a throwback to earlier times," said Colin Hastings, executive director of the Greater Pasco Area Chamber of Commerce. "You just don't see them as much anymore. And after having worked on this one I can see why. They're a lot of work."
The float was designed by Dorothy Schoeppach of Pasco, one of several past chamber presidents charged with developing ways to celebrate the chamber's 100th anniversary.
"It was really quite a project," Schoeppach said.
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She learned on the internet that purple is a primary color for centennial anniversaries.
"That's why we used purple. It's not for Pasco High, but they might think so," Schoeppach joked.
It was built over a Water Follies float chassis from the 1970s, one also used in the past by Prosser and the Richland Chamber of Commerce.
Dave Rose, owner of Northwest Rentals in Richland, bought it from Prosser about 10 years ago and it's been in storage since, Hastings said.
Schoeppach made the candlelit anniversary cake for the nose of the float. The side will be adorned by oversized photographs of Pasco -- past and present.
"The historic photos show the first air mail flight into Pasco and downtown with the old J.C. Penney Co. building right up front," Hastings said.
Present-day shots showcase the cable bridge and farmlands north of Pasco, and the chamber is excited to debut its float as the nation celebrates its independence.
"There won't be anyone on the float except the driver, but as many of the past presidents as can will be riding behind the float in convertibles," Schoeppach said.
In August, the float will roll through Kennewick as part of the Benton Franklin County Fair & Rodeo parade and on the streets of Prosser for the annual State's Day parade.
"Those are the one's we're sure of, there may be others we enter," Hastings said. "But for sure it'll be displayed inside the Pasco Red Lion ballroom during the chamber's annual Sunshine Ball on Sept. 22."