HollyDays is this weekend, on Saturday, Sept. 11 and Sunday, Sept. 12, and three first responders were named the grand marshals.
Holly Police Chief Jerry Narsh, Holly Fire Chief Steve McGee and North Oakland County Fire Authority (NOCFA) Chief Jeremy Lintz share the title this year.
Organizers decided to honor first responders due to the festivities taking place on the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. The festivities officially kick off Sept. 11 at 8 a.m. at Crapo Park with a prayer and remembrance for first responders. The 11 a.m. parade will also highlight local police officers, firefighters and EMS workers.
McGee said he and Narsh discussed it and understand “what an honor it is.” They’re both humbled by the position and to serve the community.
“While the first responders appreciate the recognition, it is not the reason anyone I know got involved; it’s all about giving back. Everyone I talked to is actually a little embarrassed to be the focus but is thankful the community appreciates their dedication,” McGee said.
He said it’s hard to believe this weekend is the 20-year anniversary.
“Like everyone alive at the time, I remember exactly where I was and the sick feeling I had knowing our country was under attack. As a new fire chief at the time, I immediately began planning should the attack occur in our area and still feel anxious on that day each year,” McGee said. “9/11 is a date for me to reflect on the heroes who sacrificed everything to save so many lives and the amazing opportunity I have to work with the brave men and women in our own community. Holly is so fortunate to have such a dedicated group willing to give their all when called to duty.”
Sarah McCanney, event organizer and Holly Village Parks commissioner, said the biggest highlight of HollyDays this year will be the parade.
“We plan to reflect on the important roles our own first responders have in our community. This day will focus on acknowledging them for their dedicated service to the people of Holly,” McCanney said.