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Essential Workers to be honored as Grand Marshal for July 4 parade

Staunton, VA – Happy Birthday America, the non-profit organization which hosts Independence Day festivities in Staunton, has announced the Grand Marshal for the parade for 2022. The organization has chosen to honor “All Essential Workers” during the COVID-19 crisis. This includes medical personnel, first responders, city and county employees, law enforcement, grocery store workers, utility workers, restaurant (or food service) workers, manufacturing and distribution employees, and anyone else who helped us all manage throughout the two-year ordeal.

“The last couple of years have been difficult for all of us. Devastating for some,” observed Happy Birthday America President Andrew Deitz. “We could not be more excited to be able to bring this celebration of our nation’s independence safely back and in person! We also could not be more appreciative of the dedication, support and sacrifice made by all essential workers during this time. Our most sincere thanks and appreciation to each of you.”

A banner representing essential workers as Grand Marshal will be the first entry in the annual parade around Gypsy Hill Park on Monday, July 4.

“We thank you, the folks that make America so great and kept us going through the pandemic,” said Wil Reid, one of the organizers of the annual event and member of performing group Wilson Fairchild. “It’s time to get back to some fun on the 4th of July!”

The last time the parade was held was in 2019, just prior to the COVID crisis.

"This event has always been about giving back to the community, just as these essential workers gave back to their community,” said Langdon Reid, also an organizer of the event and member of Wilson Fairchild. “We are grateful to have this parade again and to see the excitement and support from everyone. We have so much to celebrate here in America!"

The Happy Birthday America parade begins at 10 am on Monday, July 4th in Staunton’s Gypsy Hill Park. There will be numerous other activities during the 2-day event to include a vespers service on the evening of July 3. Independence Day will include a parent/child baseball game, a 5k race, fireworks, and a free concert that evening featuring Wilson Fairchild with special guest Rhonda Vincent and the Rage (bring your own lawn chair).

Additional details about the event are available at

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