Olympic silver medalists Tamayo and Mitchell to grand marshal Asheville Holiday Parade

The Asheville Downtown Association today announced that Olympic silver medalists Lauren Tamayo and Manteo Mitchell will serve as Grand Marshals for the 66th Annual Asheville Holiday Parade on Saturday, November 17 at 11am. This year’s parade theme is “Silver & Snowflakes,” and is sponsored by Mission Health Systems, The Grove Arcade and co-sponsored by the City of Asheville.

Tamayo, who took the silver medal as part of the Women’s Pursuit Cycling Team, makes her home in Asheville and Mitchell, one of the most decorated athletes in Western Carolina University’s history, ran on a broken leg to help the Men’s 4×400-Meter Relay Team reach silver.

“It’s particularly fitting to have Lauren and Manteo as Grand Marshals since we’re also celebrating the silver anniversary of the Asheville Downtown Association this year,” said Parade Director Sandie Rhodes.

New in 2012 is a completely revamped judging and prize structure. The revised format will allow for prizes in different categories such as school groups, dance teams, best handmade float, etc.

Parade entry applications are available at www.ashevilledowntown.org with a deadline of October 1. This year there are stricter guidelines for entries emphasizing decorations, costumes and entertainment value. All applications are reviewed by committee before acceptance.

More than 50 volunteers are necessary to run The Asheville Holiday Parade. Volunteer positions include parade marshals positioned along the route, line-up marshals assisting entrants in finding their places, traffic control and egress.

Rhodes noted “Once people volunteer for the parade they usually come back from year to year. It is a tremendous joy, a lot of responsibility and a lot of fun.”

The first volunteer meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, September 19 at 6pm in The Grove Arcade Conference Room. Anyone interested in finding out more about volunteering should attend.

For more information, visit www.ashevilledowntown.org, call (828) 251-9973 or contact Parade Director Sandie Rhodes at sandie@ashevilledowntown.org. Updates will also be available on the parade hotline at (828) 628-2403.


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