Retired Maj. Gen. Rita Aragon will be parade marshal for the annual '89er Day parade April 21 in Guthrie.
'89er Day is a celebration of the 1889 Oklahoma Land Run, much of which centered around Guthrie, Oklahoma's first state capital. Events that day in Guthrie include the parade, carnival, chuck wagon feed, rodeo, old-timer baseball game, and queen coronation.
With a theme of “Heroes of Service,” the parade has named a marshal whose career fits that description, organizers said in a news release. They noted that they are happy she stepped in for another hero, Oklahoma National Guard Brig. Gen. Kevin McNeely, whose recent assignment out of the country prevented him from leading the parade.
“When Gen. McNeely told us about his orders, we were crushed, but then someone mentioned Gen. Aragon, and we are so fortunate she was willing to clear her schedule and lead our parade,” said '89er Committee Chairman Steve Gentling in a news release.
In accepting the request, Aragon told Gentling she would lead the parade with great “enthusiasm, energy and delight.”
“I love Guthrie. I love the people of Guthrie. And I would absolutely love to be the parade marshal for the “89ers!” she said, according to the release. “I have been honored to serve this United States of America in uniform. It has been my privilege and my passion to serve this county and its citizens.”