The city's sparkling seas drew its pioneers nearly 140 years ago as it did the throngs of residents and visitors on Saturday when the past and present were celebrated.
The 67th annual Founders' Days festivities included a parade Saturday from Pioneer Park to the ocean. It was led by former Miami Dolphin and radio personality Channing Crowder.
Mayor Jean Robb followed in a mint-green Volkswagen Beetle, as did Vice Mayor Joe Miller and other dignitaries in other vehicles. The 52-member "Marching Bucks" band from Deerfield Beach High School commanded attention with brass-heavy beats.
The parade ended just south of the city's signature pier with carnival rides, arts and crafts, musical entertainment and jewelry, beachwear and food vendors. The festivities continue from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Sunday.
A bed race featuring five teams preceded the floats and vehicles that paraded along Hillsboro Boulevard.
The Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue team bolted from the starting line with a makeshift bed made of bicycle wheels and a blow-up mattress. It ran into some trouble at the start — a curb, more precisely.
"We got nervous in the beginning because the steering wheel was going around in a circle," said the team's driver, Samantha Girard. "The bottom of the hill was nerve-racking."
But despite the setback, once the team made it over the Intracoastal bridge and toward the beach, it crossed the finish line first.
Little Karaline Holtfreter, 2, of Lighthouse Point, sat in a red wagon blowing bubbles and waited for the fire trucks to roll along during the parade. When they did, the units punctuated the crowd's cheers with sirens.
One of the red trucks had been transformed into a dragon with green flapping wings and a snout that blew smoke.
"We try to come every year," said Mindy Holtfreter, Karaline's mother. "I grew up in this city, so it's a tradition my parents did with me and that I want to continue with my child."
Patty Burch, who escaped winter's wrath in Maine, was excited to attend the parade for the first time. She accompanied her friend, Sandra Zimmermann, of Deerfield Beach.
"I'm just enjoying time with a friend. We're having a great time," Burch said. "I'm just anxious to see what they have."
Added Zimmermann: "Look at all these people that are happy!"
Similarly, Elisa Smith and two friends tried to find a spot along Hillsboro Boulevard: "Isn't this exciting?" she said.
Hilde Sonnenborn, a snowbird from Dusseldorf, Germany, whipped out her camera and took snapshots of the parade.
"Deerfield itself, it's different from towns in Germany, but it's something you feel real home," she said. "It's our second home and we love it. And people are very engaged here."
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