PARA names four Christmas parade grand marshals
The Tuscaloosa County Park and Recreation Authority has chosen not one but four grand marshals for the 46th annual West Alabama Christmas Parade.
Those chosen are Lyda Black, Clell Hobson Sr., Gary Minor and Dr. Samory Pruitt, parade chair Becky Booker said.
“While each is set apart by their own unique path, all four are a testament to the strength of service to the community, and their impact in education and recreation across Tuscaloosa County is undeniable,” she said.
Lyda Black is a former associate dean at Shelton State Community College and is an accomplished educator and award-winning teacher who also involved in numerous civic and community organizations around West Alabama.
Clell Hobson Sr. is the oldest living former quarterback for the University of Alabama football team. Hobson led the team to victory in the Tide’s second Orange Bowl appearance in 1953. After college, he pursued a professional baseball career before returning to Tuscaloosa and serving as a teacher, a high school football coach and a principal at Davis-Emerson Middle School.
Gary Minor is the outgoing executive director at PARA; he retires Dec. 31 after more than a decade at PARA’s helm and many more years with the organization in lesser roles. Minor led PARA to its Alabama Recreation and Parks “Agency of the Year” awards in 2015 and 2020.
Samory T. Pruitt has served as the University of Alabama’s vice president for community affairs since the division was created in 2004. He’s responsible for developing and managing public outreach programs and campus leadership. He’s been with the university since 1986, and he’s also actively involved in several West Alabama organizations.
This year’s parade theme is “A Retro Christmas,” and it’s happening Monday, Dec. 5 at 6:30 p.m. in downtown Tuscaloosa.
Curious about past grand marshals or considering entering the parade? You can learn more or sign up right here.