With a long history of service in The Dalles community to his credit, Timothy McGlothlin — a Lions volunteer and member of The Dalles City Council — has been selected to serve as Grand Marshal for this year’s Northwest Cherry Festival.
Although his list of service is lengthy and distinguished, McGlothlin said being selected to be the 38th annual Cherry Festival’s Grand Marshal came as quite a surprise.
“I was out cleaning the garage,” he said. “Lisa (Farquharson, president of The Dalles Area Chamber of Commerce), called and said the chamber would like to ask me to be Grand Marshal for this year’s Cherry Festival. She said it was because of my involvement in the community, and the chamber wanted to recognize that service.”
Farquharson said McGlothlin is highly deserving of the honor of being the festival’s Grand Marshal.
“Tim was chosen as the 2017 Northwest Cherry Festival Grand Marshal for many reasons. The first that comes to mind is volunteerism,” Farquharson said. “Tim has been involved in many organizations, events, projects, and clubs the entire time he has called The Dalles his home. He is the type of man who jumps in to find a solution.”
The Cherry Festival runs April 19-21, with the big parade in the morning Saturday, April 20.
McGlothlin said there is not a lot required of the person who serves as Grand Marshal.
“I ride in the parade,” he laughed. “I’ll be at the Senior Center for breakfast, and then there is a coronation I go through. That’s the extent of my responsibility.”
McGlothlin said he first came to The Dalles in 1974, when he took a job as instrumental music teacher at The Dalles Junior High School and The Dalles High School. He has lived here ever since.
Among the highlights over the years since he moved to The Dalles in 1974: He served for five years as assistant scoutmaster of the local Boy Scout troop; served on the board of directors of The Dalles Chamber of Commerce; joined the Youth Think executive board; was elected to The Dalles City Council in 2009 and continues to work in that capacity; has been on the local Airport Commission; has been a member of The Dalles Lions Club since 1980, including being selected to serve as Lions president for 2013-14 and he will begin a fresh term as Lions president as of July this year. Further, from 1986-2014, he served in a variety of increasingly important roles — as a teacher, school principal and an administrator — at the nearby White Salmon Valley School District.
McGlothlin said he is deeply appreciative of being asked to lead the parade.
“Because it’s a celebration and recognition of our local agricultural economy and those involved, it’s an honor to be recognized,” he said.
McGlothlin said he has been to every Cherry Festival parade in one capacity or another since the festival began 38 years ago, and said he has seen turnout expand over the years.
“The number of people turning out for events has grown, and I’m not sure if it’s from the population increase or interest in being part of the community,” McGlothlin said. “I hope it’s the latter.”
One project McGlothlin has been closely involved with in the local schools is a program to teach first-graders about the history of the American flag and how to care for it, as well as parade etiquette involving the flag.
“Over the years, I think that’s paying off because I notice more and more people standing and removing hats in respect of the American flag,” he said. “I’ve noticed a growing acknowledgment and respect for the flag, and that pleases me.”
McGlothlin said he hoped the entire community would turn out to participate in the Cherry Festival, regardless of the weather.
“I’m hoping for fair weather, and we may be lucky,” he said. “Come on out and enjoy the festivities!”