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Pargeons chosen as Grand Marshals for WSF parade

August 6, 2018
Traer Star-Clipper

The Mike Pargeon family-Gretchen, Emily and Olivia-will lead the Winding Stairs Festival Grand Parade on Saturday, August 11 as Grand Marshals for the festivities.

Extended members of the family and the Pargeon ladies will join their AWE family this year to lead the parade, with the AWE float a regular staple of the Grand Parade.According to Gretchen, Mike helped with the festival for many years with the Jaycees Beer Garden, helping with set-up or clean up or being a part of the parade and festivities.

"I was very surprised, but honored to be asked for our family to be Grand Marshals," Gretchen said. "The entire AWE family and Pargeon family are so honored to be a part of this and his family planned to participate. Other than three or four family members, everyone will be there to thank the community for their ongoing support. Such a testament to Mike."

Article Photos

Emily, Gretchen and Olivia Pargeon with a bench donated in Mike’s memory by AWE Auto Service in June. Photo submitted.

In addition to the parade, the community will also honor Mike with the first annual Mike Pargeon Smoke-off starting Saturday morning. Smoking meats was something Mike had been exploring, according to his family. The event is coordinated Mike Morrison and Todd Speicher as a smokeoff and agreed if it could be named after Mike.

"The community support has been nothing short of unbelievable," Gretchen said. "From the amazing response and support of the Traer Ambulance and all of those who came to the hospital that night to the meals; cards, memorials, and visits those first few weeks to continued support of our family and business now, six months later. Everyone in this community was, and is, willing to help in any way they can, sometimes in ways we aren't even aware of."

Emily and Olivia currently do not live in Traer, but both are excited to return for the festivities they grew up with. As children, they would take part in parade through the AWE float and reflect on great memories over the years.

"Ever since I was a little kid, I loved going to the Winding Stairs Festival and being part of the AWE float in the parade," Emily said. "As a kid, my favorite part was the hula hoop contest, but now my favorite part about the festival is participating in the parade and listening to the bands that come to town."

"I have always loved going to the Winding Stairs Festival since I was a little kid," Olivia said. "It's great seeing the whole town come together and celebrate the town. One of my favorite parts about the festival is definitely BINGO and the variety of music that is available."

Though Mike's death six months ago was a shock to the family and community, the outpour of support to the family even to this day has been appreciated by the family.

"After my dad passed away, people in the community helped tremendously," Olivia said. "I remember being home with my mom after a snowy night and we had four or five different plow trucks available to plow our driveway throughout the next morning. So many people have checked in on us and helped us out any way possible. Even the random hugs and the "I've been thinking about you" is comforting. I'm definitely blessed to have grown up and lived in a small community like Traer."

The Grand Parade will begin at 5 p.m. Anyone interested in participating in the parade are asked to meet at North Tama schools by 4:30 p.m. with earlier registrants getting in line first after emergency vehicles and the Grand Marshals.



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