The committee planning this year’s Washington Town & Country Fair Parade are asking the public to help them find the grand marshal for this year’s event, set for Sunday, Aug. 2.
The committee already has determined that this year’s honor group will be “Healthcare Heroes,” though organizers say they are still finalizing details about how best to honor the area’s frontline health care workers.
Nominations for the grand marshal are due March 31 and can be submitted to the Washington Area Chamber of Commerce. Nomination forms are available online at washmofair.com or can be completed at the chamber office, 323 W. Main St. Forms can be submitted electronically or delivered in person or by mail to the chamber office. Mailed nominations need to be postmarked by March 31.
Amanda Griesheimer, the chamber’s marketing director, said the committee is looking for nominations of an individual or individuals who have bettered the community through service, leadership and volunteerism. Griesheimer said the committee also considers past nominations.
“The grand marshal may be a person that is not always in the spotlight, which is why we ask people for nominations. This is a good opportunity to recognize those individuals,” Griesheimer said.
The 2020 parade was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2018, longtime attorney and community volunteer Steven Kuenzel Sr., managing partner of Eckelkamp Kuenzel LLP, was grand marshal.
In 2017, former City Administrator Jim Briggs, who worked for the city for 41 years and was the longest serving city administrator, served as grand marshal.
Franklin County Sheriff Gary Toelke was the grand marshal in 2016.
In 2015, the late Vince Borgerding, a longtime community volunteer, led the parade. Borgerding was a member of the Washington Lions Club, Elks Lodge, The Buhr’s Club, St. Francis Borgia High School Athletic Association, Downtown Washington, Knights of Columbus in Dutzow and the Dutzow Community Club.
For the 2014 fair parade, the two people who were instrumental in getting the parade started, Dave Wehmeyer and Judy Tobben, served as the grand marshals.
Others previously honored as grand marshal were Paula Obermark, Gary Terschluse and Ron Unnerstall, Rick Hopp, L.B. and Bonnie Eckelkamp, Wendy Wildberger, Jackie Miller, Gary Lucy, Jerry Jasper, the late Dutch Borcherding, Don Northington, Tammy Leesmann and Ken Kruel.
Fair officials said this year’s grand marshal will likely be announced in April once the parade committee reviews all of the nominations and makes a recommendation to the fair board for final approval.