The 2017 4th of July Celebration is right around the corner! Every year, the Ashland Chamber 4th of July Committee receives nominations from the community for both an overall theme and Grand Marshal selection to help celebrate the event. Themes have celebrated community anniversaries and landmark events. Grand Marshals can often be tied to the theme itself or can stand alone, as an individual or a group of individuals that the community would like to recognize and celebrate. Grand Marshals are honored for their length of time and commitment given to our community. Former elected officials, community legends and quiet volunteers have been recognized for their countless achievements and efforts to make Ashland, or in the case of 2017, our country, a better place.

The 4th of July theme this year is “Together We Sing” and for the Grand Marshal, the Ashland Chamber 4th of July Committee is taking a different approach and instead of selecting one individual or organization to honor as the Grand Marshal, the committee would like to recognize Veterans and Active Service Men and Women of our armed forces, showing appreciation for all they have given and continue to give to our country. Through their service, day in and day out, they give and have given us the freedom that we come to celebrate on our Independence Day. There is no better time than the 4th of July to recognize and honor these men and women who currently serve or have served our country with dedication.

The Grand Marshal group will meet at Triangle Park and help lead the parade along with the Ashland City Band and fellow dignitaries. The group is invited to walk the 1-mile parade route or there will also be vehicles and trailers to help with transportation should assistance be needed.

If you are a veteran or an active member of our armed forces and would like to join us on the morning of the 4th of July, please contact Kelsey at the Ashland Chamber at 541-482-3486, Ext. 104, or email kelsey@ashlandchamber.com for all of the details and information about the Grand Marshal entry in the parade.

Join us on the 4th! We would love to honor you!

— Dana Preston is membership development manager for the Ashland Chamber of Commerce. For more information, go to www.ashlandchamber.com, call 541-482-3486 or stop by the office at 110 East Main St.