I went to the 4th of July Committee meeting because of all the speculation and buzz about who would be named Grand Marshal this year. It was announced at the beginning of the meeting that because in years past the person the Committee named had declined to participate, there would be no formal announcement of who the Grand Marshal was going to be this evening. Later, it became clear that the Committee was going to vote in private so that there would be no possibility of the press and/or bloggers (John Stephens of SierraMadrePatch.com was there, as was John Crawford’s campaign manager from his 2010 run for City Council, Anita Delmer) leaking the information before the Committee had a chance to contact the person they selected to confirm their willingness to be the Grand Marshal this year.
Apparently, there’s a real possibility of a turndown. Jan Reed (former publisher of Sierra Madre News, active in Woman’s Club, Chamber of Commerce, Historical Society, 4th of July Committee), Caroline Brown (Fire Safe Council, Sierra Madre Conservancy and Tree Commission) and Pat Alcorn (Civic Club, Wine Tasting, Little League, Community Services Commission), all pulled their names out of the running this year after they found out they had been nominated, so it’s possible others who may not have been aware they were nominated might do the same. Angel Throop (Wine and Jazz Walk), a last minute nominee, is being considered, though one of the members in the Committee stated that she has declined the nomination previously.
Nominees still up for consideration:
John Shear – 90-year old Santa Anita employee who risked his life to protect a child from a runaway horse. (Sierra Madre News Net has endorsed Shear’s nomination).
Gayle Bluemel, retiring principal of Sierra Madre School
The Baristas at Starbucks – “they bring happiness and cheer daily to the residents of Sierra Madre.”
Arlene Wolfe, retiring member of the 4th of July Committee for more than two decades
Carolyn Dapper – owner of Mary’s Market
Mike Comer – Volunteer firefighter, Board member of SM Little League, sat on the City’s finance committee a couple years back
Pat Hall, former president of the Chamber of Commerce, former Library Board Trustee, former chair of the Wine Tasting
Toni Buckner, retiring director of Library Services, former co-Chair of the Centennial Committee (was co-Grand Marshal in 2006)
Clem and Nina Bartolai – Clem is a former Council member and Mayor, member and past president of Kiwanis
Don Taylor of Taylor’s Meats
Tom Brady, Rotarian and chair of Taste of Sierra Madre
Joe Delgatto and his wife Vera – former owners of Pantorium (yes, if you didn’t know, Pantorium was sold at the end of April).
The criteria was established in 1987 when a volunteer committee took over running the event from the Chamber of Commerce, which had generally selected a person of some celebrity, such as a TV personality. The committee (with the exception of Wolfe) has changed its faces, but the criteria remains the same, according to Committee Chair Matt Bosse. The criteria as stated:
“The title of grand marshal shall be a person whose efforts over a period of time have been beneficial to the Community of Sierra Madre. The title of Grand Marshal is intended to honor a person’s body of work and dedication and overall enhancements to our city.”
In response to a question by Anita Delmer, it was announced that there could be multiple grand marshals.
I was told that a press release will be sent out tomorrow (Thursday) announcing the Grand Marshal. I will be at a business workshop in Pasadena till late afternoon, so even if I get it earlier than that, I won’t be publishing it until I get back. You can try e-mailing me, and include your cell number, and if I receive the announcement and your e-mail, I’ll text you, if you just have to know right away.