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Faces of Festivals past: A short history of North Bend parade grand marshalls
Nursery at Mount Si owner and local volunteer Nels Melgaard is the main man this year at the Festival at Mount Si.
The annual party has long honored Valley residents who make a difference,
Via the Record archives, look back on past Festival grand marshals from recent years, and a generation ago:
One year ago
Last year, Jonah Duvall, pictured above, was a 12-year-old dance sensation. Probably the youngest person ever to ride as a grand marshall in North Bend, Jonah has probably also been seen by more people than any prior Festival at Mount Si honoree.
Jonah, who was chosen for his role in the community as a local dancer, thespian and all-around good kid, logged nearly 4 million views after a video of him dancing at a Seattle Mariners’ game went viral on the Internet. He went on NBC’s Today Show in New York City.
Today, Jonah is building his acting chops with roles in shows at Eastside live theater.
Five years ago
Mount Si High School culinary teacher Laura Tarp got the honor in 2007. The Washington Restaurant Association Education Foundation had chosen Tarp as the ProStart Teacher of the Year.
Still teaching the arts of cooking today, Tarp strives to give her students as much real-world experience as possible. She asks her students to operate a catering business that services a variety of events, such as city dinners for visiting dignitaries.
Tarp recently brought renowned Seattle restauranteur Tom Douglas to town for a seminar with teens.
10 years ago
Back in 2002, Tom McCullough, above, got the nod as the parade marshall for Alpine Days. McCullough, a retired Snoqualmie Middle School principal, spent 24 years as a Valley educator.
He was principal at SMS for 11 years. McCullough remembered the help he received from parents, citizens, voters and the school board.
"The community has always supported the schools," McCullough told the Record.
25 years ago
In 1987, Carlton "Bus" Weller and his wife Florence were chosen as Alpine Days grand marshals, honored in a Saturday night torchlight parade. The two figured prominently in the development of the town's grocery business. Bus moved to the Valley from Montana as a youngster. He worked for Lee Brothers Grocery, working his way up from delivery boy to floor manager. Bus served in Saipan in 1944 and 1945, and picked up enough Japanese to swap phrases with his son Bill Weller, now manager at North Bend QFC,when Bill hosted an exchange student. Florence, of Yakima, moved to North Bend as a high schooler. She married Bus after dating for several years.
"I had to wait until he was making $25 a week," she told the Record.
The Wellers started their own store in 1950.