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Farmington Ambassadors unveil a float fit for a queen (or nine)

Members of the 2012 Farmington Ambassadors Program watched as the new Farmington Royalty float was unveiled May 10. The float will make its debut at the West St. Paul festival this weekend.

In the past, Miss Farmington and her court have had to ride in three convertibles during parade appearances. That won't be the case come this weekend.

On May 10, the Farmington Ambassador Program -- the formal name for the royalty of Dew Days -- unveiled a new float at Farmington High School.

The float takes care of an occasional problem the Farmington Ambassador Program has come across over the past couple of years, co-chair Dori Seegar said.

Because Farmington's program has the Miss Farmington, Junior Miss Farmington and Little Miss divisions, they had to find three convertibles and drivers for each parade the girls attended. That's 15 to 20 parades each year.

But the new float does more than just provide seats for the Ambassadors. It's designed to showcase Farmington and Dew Days, too. While it's mostly black, the sides are lined with photos of businesses from downtown Farmington. On the back, a sign promotes the Dew Days dates -- the third weekend in June -- so paradegoers know when the local celebration is held.

"The theme was to promote Farmington, Dew Days, and of course, the Ambassadors program. In general, the Ambassadors are really about promoting the community and exuding their pride in the community. That was the intention of the float," Seegar said.

The float has up to nine seats that can be added or subtracted, depending on how many Ambassadors are able to participate in any given parade. The names of the Ambassadors can be changed out, too, depending on who is available. It can be pulled with any kind of truck.

The Farmington Ambassadors Program held several fundraisers to build the float over the past couple of years. The group has held a couple of spaghetti dinners, and last year the girls sold raffle tickets for Ramble Jam, which netted the organization a nice donation in return. They volunteer during the Support Our Troops Haunted House, so that event's organizers, Grant and Germaine Beyl, also made a contribution. Additionally, they received a donation from CEEF, which organizes Dew Days, and several businesses made contributions. Pam Heikkila at Heikkila Studios provided the images of downtown Farmington, and AK Performance Graphics helped with the overall design.

"We wanted our float to not be like every other float out there, but yet we had to work within our budget," Seegar said. "To finally have it really happen was a lot of fun and a lot of relief."

The 2012 Farmington Ambassador Program's new float will make its debut appearance this weekend, in the West St. Paul festival's parade.

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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