Grand Marshal

Nominations Sought for Memorial Day Parade Grand Marshal

Nominations Due Wednesday, March 1 by 5 p.m.

The City's Recreation and Parks Department welcomes nominations for the Grand Marshal of the 2017 Memorial Day Parade. Nominees should have made exceptional, outstanding, distinguished, sustained or special contributions to the City of Falls Church. Nominations are due to Chris Madison ( by 5 p.m. on March 1.

Nominations will be considered by the Recreation & Parks Advisory Board. The winning nominee will lead the parade on Monday, May 29.

Read About Last Year's Grand Marshal, Kathleen Halayko

Kathleen Halayko was the 2016 Grand Marshal. The Recreation and Parks Advisory Board chose Ms. Halayko for her 28 years of service to Mt. Daniel Elementary School, the City’s public school for kindergarten and first grade students. She started at the school as a speech and language pathologist and was later promoted to principal. Ms. Halayko recently announced that after 18 years in the leadership role, she would be retiring at the end of the school year.

"I am absolutely overwhelmed by the outpouring of appreciation," said Ms. Halayko. "When I saw who was selected as Grand Marshal in previous years, I was so thankful to be grouped with such important people in the City of Falls Church! I am extremely flattered by this!"

Ms. Halayko has received numerous awards and grants and has served on a variety of educational committees. She was honored with the Washington Post Distinguished Educational Leadership Award for the 2003-2004 school year. "She has cultivated a community of caring learners, a highly dedicated staff and parents who are very much involved in their children's learning," said four staff members in their nominating letter for that award.

Teachers, staff and parents say they are impressed by Halayko's dedication to and involvement with the students, such as greeting the children by name at the school entrance every morning and evening, and having group lunch every Thursday and Friday.

Past Grand Marshals
  • 2016 - Kathleen Halayko
  • 2015 - Kathy and Barry Buschow
  • 2014 - Sergeant Steve Rau
  • 2013 - Janet Haines and Audrey Luthman
  • 2012 - Harry Shovlin
  • 2011 - Howard Herman
  • 2010 - Edna Frady
  • 2009 - Jessie Thackrey
  • 2008 - Pete Geren
  • 2007 - John Gannon
  • 2006 - Roger Neighborgall
  • 2005 - Ken Burnett
  • 2004 - Mary Ellen Shaw
  • 2003 - Ed Strait
  • 2002 - Carol DeLong
  • 2001 - Nick Benton
  • 2000 - Robert Beach
  • 1999 - Louis Olom
  • 1998 - Walter Mess
  • 1997 - Major General Simokaitis