(Posted June 17, 2021)
The London Strawberry Festival committee has selected Arlene Duffey as the 2021 parade grand marshal.
The festival is slated for June 24-26 in downtown London. Arlene will lead the parade at 4 p.m. June 26.
Arlene is a lifelong resident of London where she raised her sons, Joshua and Jason. She has six grandchildren–Max, Gavin, Addy, Hayden, Levi, and Cole.
Arlene recently retired after serving 37 years as the 4-H office associate and 35 years as the London city council clerk. Retiring was a big decision, she said, however, after spending time at home during the pandemic, she realized it was time to retire and spend more time with family. She is enjoying walks with her family, flower gardening, travel, and other leisure pursuits. She is looking forward to taking up bicycling and exploring many of the bike trails she has been hearing so much about.
Some of her favorite travel locations are located in Florida. Another favorite destination is Colorado Springs.
Arlene was interviewed for the council clerk position by Russ Walls and Art Hamilton. Over the years, she worked with 14 council presidents, numerous council members, and three council location changes. She is the city’s longest serving council clerk.
When asked about her favorite memories as clerk, Arlene laughed as she related the time a discussion about cat leashes drew one of the largest crowds to a council meeting.
Her experience with the 4-H program spanned 37 years. She worked with eight 4-H educators, several agricultural educators, and numerous interns and part-time associates. She was actively involved in the operations of the office and program through many transitions in leadership and technology. Even with the changes, she could be counted on to assist associates and families with finding the information they needed.
Arlene assisted with Cloverbud Day Camp and 4-H Camp, including serving as chaperone for the rollerblading and bicycling workshops. She was an integral part of Rally Night, Discovery Night, the county fair, and the county 4-H banquet. No one ever doubted Arlene would be there to lend a hand and organize events.
Arlene said she views the London Strawberry Festival as a chance to come together with friends for a great social event.
For the festival schedule of events and more information, visit London Strawberry Festival.