Verne and Nancy Lundquist named 2016 Fourth of July grand marshals
If you go:
What: Fourth of July parade
Where: Lincoln Avenue, downtown Steamboat Springs
When: 10 a.m. Monday, July 4
Steamboat Springs — Two Belgian horses will pull a gondola carriage with sportscaster Verne Lundquist and his wife, Nancy, down Lincoln Avenue Monday as this year’s Fourth of July parade grand marshals.
Longtime Steamboat Springs residents, the Lundquists are well-known for their philanthropic ways, donating both time and money to the place they’ve called home since 1984.
“We obviously feel very honored,” said Verne Lundquist, who, in May, won an Emmy Award for Lifetime Achievement for his decades as a television sportscaster, most notably, calling games for SEC football on CBS.
The Lundquists were selected as grand marshals by staff at Yampa Valley Bank, the parade’s presenting sponsor.
Bank President and CEO PJ Wharton said it was the Lundquist’s charitable nature and leadership that made the couple a good candidate for the honor.
“To Steamboat, Verne and Nancy are a unified, generous team that provide an amazing amount of philanthropy in our valley,” Wharton said. “Verne and Nancy have been the spokespersons for the United Way annual fundraising campaigns for nearly a decade and were key to the success of the capital campaign to fund the construction of our beautiful Strings Music Pavilion.”
Wharton said the couple was “simply the perfect choice.”
Verne Lundquist said Sunday that the Fourth of July has always been a favorite holiday for him and his wife, and when they’ve been in town, they’ve always watched the parade from a favorite spot at the corner of Ninth Street and Lincoln Avenue.
He added they used to watch the parade with locals Doak and Skeeter Walker, recalling that Skeeter Walker’s mother, Hazie Werner, once operated a ski clothing and fishing worm store on the corner.
A crowd of about 25 to 30 friends still watches the parade from the corner each year, Lundquist said.
“Once we do the parade tomorrow, we’ll loop back and join them there,” he said.
Vern Lundquist said he and his wife were honored to have been chosen as the parade’s grand marshals on a holiday that means so much to many Americans.
“The Fourth of July is about the independence of our country, and it evokes a real patriotic feeling in almost all of us,” Lundquist said. “To be honored in this way is very special.”
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