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Posted April 4, 2009 | Copyright © The Northern Virginia Daily
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Mayfest unveils grand marshal

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The Lone Ranger look-alike to lead this year's festival

By Elizabeth Wilkerson -- ewilkerson@nvdaily.com

STRASBURG -- In keeping with the "Wild West" theme of this year's festival, The Lone Ranger will serve as grand marshal of Strasburg's 27th annual Mayfest celebration.

"Who better to serve as the grand marshal than The Lone Ranger for the Wild West theme?" festival Chairman Rich Orndorff said Tuesday. "Obviously, it's not the real Lone Ranger," he said, but the look-alike personality promotes gun safety, non-violence and decency, as well as abstinence from drugs, alcohol, tobacco and profanity, to the children he entertains.

"It should be really fun," Orndorff said. The Lone Ranger and his white horse, Silver, will be at Mayfest on Saturday, May 16, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., according to a press release on the event.

This year's Mayfest will take place May 15-17, and is set to include a parade, musical entertainment, food and craft vendors, a beauty pageant and a variety of children's activities, said Orndorff, who also serves as president of the Strasburg Chamber of Commerce. Olympic gold medalist Mary Wayte Bradburne will serve at this year's sports marshal, Orndorff said.

Bradburne won a gold medal in the 200-meter freestyle and another as a member of the 4x100-meter freestyle relay team at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, the release says. At the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, she won a silver medal as part of the 4x100-meter medley relay team and a bronze as part of the 4x100-meter freestyle relay team.

Both The Lone Ranger and Bradburne will participate in the festival's parade, which is set for 4 p.m. on May 16, the release says.

Though some aspects of the festival, including the musical entertainment planned for Saturday and Sunday, have been scaled back because of the sputtering economy, he said, some new activities will be added this year.

"We're looking at how to scale back activities without dropping activities and events, and we've also added some ... that we hope will compensate for things that we've had to scale back on," Orndorff said. "We've had a lot of sponsors that are not able to help us financially," he said, but some have provided in-kind donations.

This year, the Mayflowers will meet at the Hotel Strasburg for a ladies "Wild West Round-up Chuck Wagon" from 4 to 7 p.m. on May 14, the release says. Area musician Robbie Limon will perform the music of Buddy Holly, Hank Williams Sr. and others, and 80 tickets are available at $30 each.

If the ladies' event is a success, Orndorff said, a similar men's event may be added next year.

This year's 5K and Fun Run/Walk will begin at 8 a.m. May 16, and will be proceeded by a ribbon-cutting for the new walking trail at Strasburg's town park, the release says.

"We've never had a 5K, but this year we wanted to expand" the event in conjunction with the official opening of the trail, he said.

The Mayfest print will be unveiled this Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Hotel Strasburg, Orndorff said, and organizers hope a Mayfest flag can be developed in time for this year's festival.

"It's our social event of the year in Strasburg," Orndorff said. "I think we've made it fun and I think we offer a lot, and I think it's a good way for Strasburg to show everyone what our community is all about."

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