|Olver Named Grand Marshal for 56th Fall Foliage Parade|
|02:35PM / Tuesday, July 19, 2011|
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Berkshire Chamber of Commerce and the city of North Adams have named U.S. Rep. John W. Olver as grand marshal of the 56th annual Fall Foliage Festival Parade.
||Congressman John W. Olver never misses a parade. The region's 10-term representative will be this year's grand marshal for the annual Fall Foliage Parade.
The Amherst Democrat has walked in the parade for years. He's in his 10th term representing the sprawling 1st Massachusetts District.
"We are honored to have Congressman Olver as this year's grand marshal to help us celebrate the Northern Berkshire Fall Foliage Festivities," said parade director Christine Hoyt. "His contributions to the region are countless and he is an integral part of the community. We are thrilled to have him preside over this exciting event, in the very county to which he has lent his support for so many years."
This year's parade will be held Sunday, Oct. 2. The theme encourages residents to "Take 'paws' in Northern Berkshire" to reflect on the region's distinct character while celebriting its furry friends. Hoyt said the theme was meant to give the event a "fun twist."
"In one regard, it provides us the opportunity to tip our hat and acknowledge the wonderful community here in Northern Berkshire, and in another, it provides a fun angle to creatively inspire float builders and other groups entering the parade this year," she said.
Olver, a former chemistry professor at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, began his public service career began in 1969 in the State House representing a section of Hampshire County. Beginning in 1973, he served 18 years in the state Senate representing portions of Franklin, Hampshire, Hampden and Berkshire counties before being sworn in to represent the 1st Congressional District — spanning Berkshire, Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin, Worcester and Middlesex counties — in June 1991.
The congressman is currently the only member from the Massachusetts delegation serving on the House Appropriations Committee and, in 2011, his colleagues named him the ranking member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and related agencies. This year, he was also named to the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee.
The 56th Fall Foliage Festival Parade is coordinated by the chamber. "The Berkshire Chamber is thrilled to, once again, help support the Fall Foliage Parade," said Michael Supranowicz, president and CEO of the chamber. "The parade is a time-honored tradition in North Berkshire and we understand that, now perhaps more than ever, it is important to businesses and residents to preserve this very special community event."
The parade steps off at 1 p.m. from the Wal-Mart parking lot and continues north on Curran Highway before winding through downtown North Adams. Thousands of Berkshire residents and visitors enjoy the annual parade, which commemorates the autumn season.
Although the parade is still months away, the organizational effort is already strong. Over the next few months, parade committee members will coordinate an array of marching bands, floats, banners and other marching units in preparation for this monumental event. With so many tasks ahead, the committee welcomes volunteers to help with the parade effort.
For more information on the parade or to volunteer, call Hoyt at 413-499-4000, Ext. 26, or visit www.fallfoliageparade.com.