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Grand Marshal, Wally Post: ‘The highest we’ve ever been right now’

Times Observer photo by Stacey Gross Wally Post is this year’s Fourth of July parade Grand Marshal.

Wally Post has loved the Fourth of July since he can remember.

“I remember going to the parade and just really loving it,” said Wally. But when a friend asked him to join the Warren Jaycees, he said no. For three years. When Wally finally got involved with the Jaycees, his official association with the Fourth of July began.

That was 45 years ago, said Wally. The Warren Jaycees have been handling Warren’s Fourth of July celebration since 1947. In that time, said Wally, Warren County has become a destination for people all over the country and even the world to celebrate the Fourth.

Each year, said Wally, the parade offers something new and unique. While he wasn’t willing to say what would be new this year, opting instead to “keep that a surprise,” he did say that the parade has become an institution and one of the best in the area. The pre-parade show, the only that Wally said he knows of in the state, will feature drum and bugle corps in the viewing area, which he will be emcee for, before catching a ride to the parade staging area where he’ll take up the front of the procession with his son Michael and granddaughter Erin, who is six. Michael and Erin, said Wally, are coming in from Maryland to help bring in the parade with Wally, who said this year will be his last year as the official Fourth of July guru in Warren.

Wally said that they’ve used different methods over the years to select a Grand Marshal, but this year, he said, he was told it was him. “I didn’t want to be Grand Marshal,” said Wally, who added that he doesn’t look for recognition in his efforts to make the Fourth of July in Warren the best it can be. But, he said, he was chosen because he loves the event, knows a lot about it, and has a passion for it.

Wally said that his favorite things about the Fourth of July and the parade in particular are seeing the excitement in kids’ faces and seeing everyone getting together to enjoy themselves and have a good time. He did, however, want it to be known that he hopes everyone remembers the reason for the celebration.

“It’s about patriotism,” said Wally. “I hope everyone remembers that that’s what we’re here for. That’s what it’s all about. It’s about patriotism, and waving the flag, and honoring America. That’s what I get out of it.”

Wally said that in his 45 years of bringing the Fourth of July celebration to life in Warren, he’s “seen the highest highs and the lowest lows. But we’re the highest we’ve ever been right now,” Wally added. Wally said he appreciates the work that the fifteen-odd Jaycees and handful of volunteers do to bring such a spectacular celebration to Warren each year. “We couldn’t’ do it without them,” said Wally, adding that we also “couldn’t do it without the sponsors.”

And the 70th anniversary of the Warren County Fourth of July parade, said Wally, “is shaping up to be quite the event.” In addition to the three days of events and offerings leading up to the fourth, said Wally, this year’s parade will be one of four Shriner’s Point Parades. A Point Parade is one that all Shriners from the surrounding area attend, said Wally, and is something that parade committees bid on to receive. This year, said Wally, Warren businesses have donated $10,0000 to the Shriners organization.

For more information about Warren’s Fourth of July parade, visit warrenpajuly4th.com.

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