PARA Announces Grand Marshals of the 44th Annual West Alabama Christmas Parade "The Official Bicentennial Parade"
November 19, 2019, 11:08am
Tuscaloosa County Park & Recreation Authority announces the selection of three individuals as Grand Marshals of the 44th Annual West Alabama Christmas Parade. PARA is proud to present the Parade as “The Official Bicentennial Parade” and has agreed to move the date to Friday, December 13, in recognition of the City’s official birthday date.
Criteria for Grand Marshal(s) nominations is as follows:
- Significant community contributions
- Lifetime achievements with a lasting community impact
- Career accomplishments
For a complete listing of Grand Marshals from 1968, please visit http://www.tcpara.org/westalchristmasparade.
The 2019 Grand Marshals are Tim Parker, Cathy Randall and Harrison Taylor. As written in the nomination, “Each is deserving of the recognition individually but together they make up the Dream Team.”
Tim Parker is a lifelong member of the Tuscaloosa community and when called to serve he is always first in line. Parker is chairman of Parker Towing, a family owned business serving Tuscaloosa since 1940. He is a leader and community servant. He has served as chair of the Tuscaloosa Industrial Development Authority, Chair of the Alabama Port Authority, Chair of Tuscaloosa’s YMCA and Chair of the United Way. He was selected as Tuscaloosa’s Citizen of the Year in 1980 and has served the University of Alabama as a member of the President’s Cabinet and as a VP for the National Alumni Association. He was Chairman of the committee which brought “Celebration on the River,” the City/PARA sponsored Independence Day event to the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater. His most lasting legacy is his service to our state as a legislator for Tuscaloosa for 12 years.
Cathy Randall is a mother, scholar, educator and a business and community leader. She is a graduate of the University of Alabama having earned five degrees including two doctoral degrees. She retired after serving as the Director of Computer Based Honors Program at the University of Alabama for over 25 years. Today that program is called the Randall Scholars Program in her honor. She was selected as one of the University of Alabama’s top 31 graduates, the recipient of the National Alumni Associations Distinguished Alumna Award and the Roger E. Sayers Distinguished Service Award. As a business leader she served as Chairman of Randall Publishing Company following her husband’s passing. Randall has served on virtually every community board in Tuscaloosa and statewide. “She gives tirelessly of herself and is the kindest, most giving individual I have ever known,” as stated by her nominator.
Harrison Taylor has served his community in many ways but most importantly is credited with improving race relations through his work as City Council President with a majority white City Council. Taylor served over 25 years, representing District 2 on the City Council. In 2018, the City named the new Incident Command Post in honor of Taylor as a result of his inspiring leadership following the 2011 tornado. The Harrison Taylor Splash Park in Palmore Park is named in his honor as he was instrumental in obtaining funds for the water feature in one of PARA’ largest and most frequently used parks. He is a quiet leader who served his country before becoming one of the first African Americans to serve as a US Mail Carrier, earning him the nickname, “Mailman.” He is known and respected by all citizens of Tuscaloosa and his impact is seen and felt throughout our community.
The nomination further states, “All three of these individuals are worthy of recognition on their own and together they have led the Tuscaloosa Bicentennial Advisory Committee in the planning process for the past three years. They have given of their time, talent and resources to ensure the success of this year and set an example as servant leaders.”
Registration is now open for Parade entries by visiting http://www.tcpara.org/westalchristmasparade or any PARA Activity Center.
PARA invites the community to kick off of the holiday season at the final Bicentennial Event of the Year by attending PARA’s 44th Annual West Alabama Christmas Parade, “The Official Bicentennial Parade” on December 13. The Tree Lighting begins at 5:15 p.m. and Parade at 6:30 p.m.