When the 2016 Marion Popcorn Festival Parade steps off at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 8, 35-year Festival volunteer Garrison “Muggs” McGinnis will be at the forefront as the 2016 Grand Marshal. Long time parade chairman, Mary Lore Dutton, will be honored in memoriam as the Honorary Grand Marshal.
McGinnis was originally recruited in 1982 to run the Information Booth, which in those days, said McGinnis, was an eight-foot table, two chairs and two phones. “It sounded like it would be a fun thing to do,” said McGinnis, “and I stayed with it because it was fun working with all of the festival people.”
After his stint in information, McGinnis moved onto the executive committee becoming vice president and then Festival president for the 1995 – 1996 Festivals. From there he moved on to the Back Stage committee where he was a mainstay for over 15 years. McGinnis is also proud that during his tenure on the executive committee, he worked with city officials to put an Emergency Evacuation Plan into place that is still in use today.
Now retired from a 45 year career at B.F. Goodrich/Parker Hannafin, McGinnis has stayed active serving as a past member of the Marion Evening Lions Club, F.O.P.A. and president. He is also a present member of the Marion Elks Lodge #32, American Legion Post #162, VFW Post #7201, Veterans Park, and United Vets Council Funeral detail.
Born in Hawks, Ohio, McGinnis lived the majority of his life here in Marion graduating from Marion Harding High School. An Army veteran of the 25th Division based out of Hawaii and nicknamed “Tropic Lightning”, McGinnis did two tours of duty in Viet Nam.
Married to Rena, McGinnis has one son, Darin McGinnis, four step-daughters, Leanne Tucker, Cheryl Martin, Debra Stallings, and Carol Fowler, and nine grandchildren.
McGinnis added, “I truly believe that the Marion Popcorn Festival has been a positive for Marion helping to improve the image of the city both locally and nationally. Plus, did I mention it’s fun?”
Dutton was with the Marion Popcorn Festival for 14 years, serving in several capacities. Most notably Festival treasurer and parade chairman. Daughter Cyndie Jackson said, “People loved her and she loved them. She enjoyed putting together the parade every year and seeing the enjoyment it brought to so many people. The parade was something that brought all our family members together every year. We all worked behind the scenes to help Mom make the parade work. Festival time will not be the same without her.”
Another daughter, Sabrina Cranmer, echoed Jackson’s comments, “Mom loved the parade so very much … continuing to chair it even after her health began to decline. She loved to have us dress in attire reflecting the theme of the parade and turn what can be a stressful event to pull off into something fun. I’m so touched that the Festival decided to honor Mom’s contributions in this way.”
Born in Marion and having graduated from Marion Harding High School, Dutton passed in December of 2015. She was active throughout her retirement years loving to travel and spend time with family … many of whom she recruited into “parade duty” each year.
Dutton is survived by three daughters, Sabrina Cranmer, Angela (Dan) Apthorp, and Cyndra (Mark) Jackson, five grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. She was proceeded in death by husbands Richard Lore and William Dutton.
Jackson concluded, “I know many of the regular parade participants already miss her, but she would want the parade she helped build and shape to continue to grow and make everyone smile.”
“We are truly honored,” said Tracy Snare, Marion Popcorn Festival Parade Chairman, “to have as grand marshals these individuals who not only gave so much to the Festival, but the Marion community, as well.”