See The Pride Of Payson

Photo by Pete Aleshire. |

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The Town of Payson’s Park, Recreation and Tourism Director Cameron Davis would like to invite Rim Country residents to a party to celebrate the amazing efforts the community made for the Fiesta Bowl Parade.

He will have the award-winning float and unforgettable trees available for viewing — and hugging — at 4 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 10 at the Payson High School football field parking lot.

“As the organizer, I just wanted to ... say how grateful I am for the good people who gave of their time and talents to help us achieve such great success,” said Davis. “The whole community is invited to come and see this award-winning float and the trees that made everyone a ‘Tree Hugger.’” He said Rim Country received more than $500,000 in free publicity as a result of the effort.

The Arizona Republic ran a story in which Payson was the only community mentioned and every network news station (Channels 3, 10, 12 and 15) filmed the float and tree costumes, said Davis.

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The tree costume even made it into the Channel 3 weather report. “The day of the parade, the weather personality asked if she could put on one of the dazzling tree costumes and do the weather,” said Davis. “For five minutes she did her weather report and then right at the end a golf cart rode up with several parade bigwigs on it. Very quickly we were informed that we had not only won the Grand Prize for best float, but the Small Pint Judges had selected us as well as their top vote-getter. The Channel 3 personality jumped right in and congratulated us on air. It was truly amazing!”

Davis had the float brought back up to Payson after the parade, no small feat since it had to be disassembled and reassembled to make the trip. Once back in Payson, it had to have a few minor repairs, but Davis feels the effort was worth it to thank the community and volunteers for the wonderful experience.

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Davis hopes all the volunteers will come to the celebration so he can recognize and thank them publicly.

He’s asked a few to dress as trees, but understands some are not interested.

“I’ve had some tree volunteers tell me definitely no,” he said. “They told me going to Phoenix and dressing up was OK, but doing that in Payson is a bit too close to home.”

The trees will do double duty by promoting the food bank drive. Davis asks attendees who are able to bring a non-perishable food item to help those less fortunate in the community.

For more information, please contact Cameron Davis at (928) 474-5242, ext. 7.

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