Every time the Frontier Days parade headed down Central Avenue in Fort Dodge for the past 20 years, Mike and Cindy Mulroney were too busy to watch most of it.
That's because they were doing all the chores needed to make the annual event happen flawlessly.
The Mulroneys were the principal organizers of the parade from 1992 to 2011. But this year, they'll be leading it as the grand marshals. And after they ride down Central Avenue wearing the traditional blue cavalry hats, they will sit in the reviewing stand to relax and watch the parade.
-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Cindy Mulroney adjusts her husband Mike’s cavalry hat Friday as they try them on for size. The couple have been named this year’s Frontier Days parade marshals.
The Fort Dodge couple was recently named the parade grand marshals by the committee organizing this year's Frontier Days event.
''The Mulroneys' continous community service, hard work and dedication make them exactly what Fort Dodge is all about,'' Kerk Friday, a member of the Frontier Days committee, said in a written statement.
Mike Mulroney said he and his wife were ''just kind of amazed that we would be selected.''
He said that in the past, the parade grand marshals were people with what he called a ''big vision'' for the community. As examples, he cited Bill Ryan, who established Frontier Days, and Leo Crimmins, a successful businessman who donated a building to Iowa Central Community College.
Cindy Mulroney said she and her husband weren't the only people who made the annual parades a success. She said businesses provided supplies and dozens of volunteers offered their time.
''People just volunteered,'' she said. ''If we forgot to contact people, they would contact us.''
Mike and Cindy Mulroney weren't the only ones in their family working on the parade. Their son, Michael, worked right alongside them,
''He's always, always been our right-hand man,'' she said.
The Mulroneys moved to Fort Dodge in 1991, and watched the Frontier Days parade that year. Cindy Mulroney recalled that they stood in the 1300 block of Central Avenue to watch it. She added that there was a torrential downpour that day.
Mike Mulroney said they both wanted to get involved in their new community, so he approached Ryan about helping with Frontier Days. Ryan invited them to a planning meeting.
''We came back to the second meeting and they said, you're in charge of the parade,'' he said.
They were commissioned as captains in the parade corps of the Fort Dodge Dragoons, the organization which used to organize Frontier Days.
Cindy Mulroney said they enjoyed working on the parade every year.
''It's been our pleasure, honestly,'' she said.
Contact Bill Shea at (515) 573-2141 or email@example.com