This year's parade we were blessed with sunny skies and temperatures in the 80s! We had nearly 100 entrants and this was the first year the parade had an official photographer.
We are pleased to announce that this year's Parade Queen is Arlene Starks! Born in Kentucky and raised in Buffalo, Arlene lived and worked in Los Angeles. When she retired 21 years ago, she packed up home, threw a party aboard a train and then rode on to her new home in Huntsville to be near family. Her niece, Brenda Martin, works in the mayor's office, and they have other family in Tennessee as well.
Arlene lost her vision shortly after retiring and relocating. Not to be deterred from her energetic lifestyle, she embraced the support of the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind (AIDB) and the National Federation of the Blind (NFB). There she learned new skills that have guided her and enabled her to maintain her independence. She served as president of the North Alabama chapter of the NFB from 2005-2007. A Red Hat lady, Arlene is active in the community, and she loves plays, opera, and musicals. Arlene relies on friends for rides to church, and she uses Handi Ride to get to her classes at UAH's Osher Lifetime Learning Institute (Opera Appreciation, How to Write Your Memoirs); she stays current with computer software for the visually impaired by taking classes at the AIDB. Arlene is currently writing her memoirs.
This year Kevin T. Campbell has been selected to be our Grand Marshal! Kevin is the Corporate Lead Executive (CLE) for Northrop Grumman in Huntsville, Alabama. Prior to joining Northrop Grumman, Campbell served more than 37 years in the U.S. Army retiring at the rank of Lieutenant General. His final assignment was serving as Commanding General of the US Army Space and Missile Defense Command, the Joint Functional Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense, and the US Army Cyber Command.
Campbell earned a bachelor's degree from Worcester State College. He also holds a master's degree in personnel management from the University of New Hampshire and a master's degree in Strategic Studies from the Naval War College.
Here's what Kevin says about his Irish roots: "Our name 'Campbell' is Scottish, but according to my father, an element of the Campbells moved into Ireland, then to Nova Scotia, then into New England." He also notes that his wife Kathy's family is 100% Irish!
We would like to give a big thank you to this year's official parade photographer, Sylvester Photography! Stay tuned to this website after the parade to check out the photos!