Maple Leaf Committee seeking past parade guests
For the 50th anniversary of the Maple Leaf Festival, committee members are hoping to have as many former parade marshals and others on hand.
"The Maple Leaf Festival Committee is looking for all the past grand marshals, queens and Boyd scholars from the past 50 years so that we can honor them in this '50 Years of Celebration' parade," said Donna Curran, committee president. "This is just a great way of celebrating their achievements once again.
"We hope to get as many as possible," Curran said.
The festival's grand parade wasn't started until 1970. Since then, there have been 72 grand marshals named. However, in 2000 the grand marshals were veterans and in 2001 it was firefighters. It's unknown how many in those groups participated. The firefighters were chosen in 2001 in wake of the 9/11 tragedies.
Three men credited with being the founders of the festival served as grand marshals twice, once in 1972 and again in 1982. They are C.R. Whitley, Ivan Boyd and Charles Doudna.
From 1959 to 1991, there was a Maple Leaf Queen every year and that list totals 33. It was discontinued after it conflicted with the Miss Kansas Pageant. Two Boyd Scholarship winners have been named each year since and rode in the parade. That list numbers 32.
Any of the past marshals, queens and scholarship winners that want to be in the 50th parade can call Curran at (785) 594-2381.