Middletown names Dexter Manley grand marshal of parade

Savannah Lane

MIDDLETOWN — Town Council has named Dexter Manley as the grand marshal of the upcoming July 4th parade, and also added Miss Virginia 2015 as the honorary grand marshal.

Manley, two-time Super Bowl champion, and Savannah Lane, who ranked in the top 15 in the Miss America beauty pageant, will ride in the parade and stick around afterward to schmooze with attendees.

“The 4th of July is always my favorite holiday,” Lane said. “So any chance to celebrate it with friends, family, or even a new town is really exciting for me – especially so long as there are fireworks.”

Middletown hosts the only parade scheduled within a 50-mile radius, according to Middletown Mayor Charles Harbaugh. Roughly 3,000 people are expected to attend.

“This is by far the biggest named grand marshal we’ve ever had in our parade,” Harbaugh said. “We’ve certainly never had a Miss Virginia before either.”

Harbaugh said the parade has hosted politicians for the past two years in the parade, and he’s happy to see more exciting appearances this year.

The parade this year will include several bits of entertainment, including a NASCAR simulator, a softball tournament, a corn-hole tournament, 10 food vendors, 20 local crafters, two live bands, and a reading of the Declaration of Independence.

The Fellowship Baptist Church will also be sponsoring a meal for all veterans and their spouses.

As far as food goes, Middletown Councilman Scott Fink said Hog-It-Up BBQ and Tropical Smoothies of Front Royal will both have stands set up. There will also be a carnival food stand, kettle corn, snow cones, an ice cream vendor, and a fried Oreo stand.

“Every year we’re aiming to make it bigger and better, that’s our perspective,” Fink said.

Contact staff writer Jake Zuckerman at 540-465-5137 ext. 152, or jzuckerman@nvdaily.com