This year's Tucson Rodeo Parade grand marshal is a familiar face.
Grand Marshals for Tucson Rodeo Parade have come from all walks of life: singing groups like the Sons of the Pioneers (1999) or local businessmen, Jim Click (1989) or local politicians and their family – Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly (2013).
Today the Grand Marshal for the 89th Annual Rodeo Parade has been announced and it is Tucson News Now's own Dan Marries.
Dan is a self-proclaimed "wanna-be" cowboy and it's apparent every year during the Tucson Rodeo Parade and Rodeo. That comes from his time in Pawnee, Okla. where he spent the latter years of his childhood and high school. Helping his uncle with cattle instilled in him the importance of putting in a hard day's work.
Dan is the charter president of the Casas Adobes Optimist Club, which has adopted more than 30 less-fortunate families over the past four years during Christmas, making sure the kids had presents under the tree and food on the table.
He is also a founding trustee board member of the Greater Tucson Fire Foundation assisting the local fire community with funding, tools, technology, advanced training, equipment, survivor's help and education campaigns.
Every year he volunteers during Love of Reading Week to spend time with children to let them know the importance of education. He's also a frequent visitor to the Southern Arizona VA Medical Center, visiting with veterans to thank them for their service.
For the past eight years he's served as the official announcer for the Tucson Veteran's Day Parade and the Tucson Rodeo Parade telecast. His schedule is kept busy emceeing and attending hundreds of fundraisers for a variety of local charities including "BAG IT," that provides vital information for cancer patients, the Tucson Utility Contractors Association, United Way, Boys & Girls Club, the Marana School Foundation and the Tucson Police Officers Foundation, to name just a few.
He joins a long list of Grand Marshals dating back to the first in 1925: the Lions Club, Kiwanis, Rotary Club and Pete Waggoner.
The 2014 Tucson Rodeo parade will take place on Feb. 20, beginning at 9 a.m. For more information, visit http://www.tucsonrodeoparade.org.
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