PHOENIX - Spectators in Phoenix got to see the sights of Williams in miniature form when the city's float appeared in the Fort McDowell Fiesta Bowl Parade Dec. 29.
The Williams High School art class and art club designed and constructed the float with support from the Williams-Grand Canyon Chamber of Commerce. The float featured Bill Williams Mountain, Route 66 signs, the train, the Grand Canyon, and the "Gateway to the Grand Canyon" arch.
Alicia Raecke, events coordinator for the Chamber, said spectators who had visited the city especially enjoyed the float.
"We got a lot of positive feedback about Williams," she said. "Everyone had warm fuzzy memories about Williams, so that was really nice to hear."
Arizona Public Service transported the float from Williams to Phoenix in pieces. Chamber members assembled the float and put on the finishing touches on Dec. 27.
A Channel 12 News crew filmed the team working on the float that day. The segment aired on the news Dec. 28.
"I think it was good exposure for us," Raecke said.
Children and adults judged the float on Dec. 28. Raecke said she was pleased with the way the float turned out.
"(It was) super creative and it really appealed to the kid judges who were there," she said. "All the little details they noticed."
Williams City Manager Brandon Buchanan drove the float, and Chamber President Gioia Goodrum, Williams Unified School District Superintendent Rachel Savage and her husband Eric, and Raecke and her boyfriend Chase Zamora marched in the two-mile parade. Raecke and Zamora dressed as a '50s couple and Goodrum dressed as a cowgirl for the parade.
Raecke said the spectators enjoyed their costumes, and for her "seeing all the smiling faces" was the best part of the parade.
The Fiesta Bowl Parade featured nearly 100 entries, including floats, bands, balloons, equestrian, honorary participants and specialty groups. The parade's Grand Marshal was U.S. Olympic gold medalist swimmer Missy Franklin.