Nashville Mayor Karl Dean has announced that Oklahoma native Vince Gill will serve as grand marshal for the 59th Annual Nashville Christmas Parade on Friday. The parade officially kicks off the holiday season downtown with the lighting of the city Christmas tree, where Gill will be joined by Mayor Dean and executives from Piedmont Natural Gas, which has sponsored the parade since its beginning, according to a press release.
The theme of this year’s parade is “Christmas Around the World.” Following the lighting of the Christmas parade, Vince will lead parade floats through the heart of downtown Nashville. “I wanted to serve as grand marshal because I just like Mayor Dean,” Gill said in the release. “It’s that simple. He has been beyond supportive of the music community.”
“Vince Gill’s community involvement and amazing talent as a singer, songwriter and musician have made a remarkable and lasting mark on Music City,” Mayor Dean said in the release. “I am grateful that he will be taking part in this longtime Nashville tradition.”
Fellow country music stars Conway Twitty, Patty Loveless, Charlie Daniels, Lorrie Morgan, Josh Turner and John Rich have served as grand marshal in the past. Country radio legend Gerry House led last year’s “Home for the Holidays” themed-parade.
All proceeds from the parade will benefit the Piedmont Natural Gas Share the Warmth program, which assists low-income families in Nashville who need help paying energy bills. Since 2003, Piedmont Natural Gas, its customers and the Piedmont Natural Gas Foundation have donated more than $1.5 million to Share the Warmth energy assistance funds. For more information on the parade, visit www.facebook.com/nashvillechristmasparade.