Exclusive: Fourth of July parade in Grass Valley names Grand Marshals

Sandy Woods, who is retiring as CEO of the Nevada County Fairgrounds, and John Hart, a photographer for The Union newspaper in Grass Valley who is retiring after 51 years, are the Grand Marshals of the Fourth of July parade in western Nevada County, our magazine has learned.

This colorful Fourth of July parade alternates each year between Nevada City and Grass Valley. This year it’s Grass Valley’s turn.

Woods is featured in the upcoming spring issue of our magazine for her accomplishments at the Fairgrounds. We write: “Much of the credit for a full year-round ‘dance card’ at the fairgrounds goes to Sandy Woods, chief executive officer of the Nevada County Fairgrounds, as well as the staff and board. Sandy’s keen business acumen, which includes 20 years at the fairgrounds, as well as a previous experience in finance, has helped the Nevada County Fairgrounds thrive at a time when other fairs are struggling.

“This winter, Woods was inducted into Western Fairs Association Hall of Fame. Woods also has been Chair of the California Fairs Alliance, which provides advocacy and resource development for California fairs.

“After serving 20 years at the fairgrounds, Woods recently announced her retirement as CEO. Recruitment for a new CEO has begun, and Woods will continue in her role until a replacement is found.”

Our magazine is proud to have been one of the ones to nominate Woods as a Grand Marshal to the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce, who helps to organize the parade along with the Greater Grass Valley Chamber and Grass Valley Downtown Association.

John Hart, a Grass Valley native, began working, full-time, at The Union on June 15, 1964, according to the community newspaper. After a full 51 years on the job, Hart plans to retire on June 15, 2015, the newspaper has said.

“Hart’s history with The Union extends even beyond his half decade as a staffer. Hart got his start as a 9-year-old paper boy, delivering the Sacramento Bee for a six-month stint before taking on a route for The Union,” according to an article about him.

The parade is Saturday, July 4th at 10 a.m. and will include about 75 entries. The festive parade winds through downtown Grass Valley.  Parade-goers are advised to bring lawn chairs and arrive early to find a good vantage point.

(Photo credits: John Hart: The Union newspaper; Sandy Woods: Nevada County Fairgrounds)

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