Stahl chosen to lead Strawberry Festival parade

John Stahl

(Posted June 16, 2023)

The London Strawberry Festival committee has chosen John Stahl as the grand marshal of this year’s festival parade which will take place at 4 p.m. June 24. The festival runs June 22-24.

Stahl is a lifelong London resident and graduate of London High School’s class of 1966. In high school, he was an active member of FFA where he enjoyed participating in the public speaking team, soil judging team, and animal judging team.

He went on to graduate with a bachelor of business degree from Franklin University. He recently celebrated 21 years with Ohio Processors.

Stahl, and his wife of almost 48 years, Jan, felt that there was no better place to call home than London. They have been blessed with three children and have since welcomed eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. If you can’t find John at home with his family and pets, you are sure to find him gardening, caring for their numerous animals, traveling far and wide to all of Ohio’s Fairs and Festivals, or active with one of the many organizations to which he belongs.

Stahl has accumulated many accomplishments over the course of his life and continues to do so. His passion for trees and gardening led to the founding the local Tree Commission in 1986. This has allowed London to hold the title of National Tree City with the Arbor Day Foundation for 36 years. In 1979, he helped to create the city motto, “London:­ A Proud Heritage, A Promising Future.” He has been a member of London city council for most of the past 25 years. He continues to strive to make impactful changes for the city and is currently working on a program to address the stray cat population.

Stahl’s love for fairs and festivals didn’t start from just anywhere. He served as a 4-H advisor for 25 years with Jolly Green Growers, a 4-H club that focused on growing vegetables and flowers. He later stepped into the roles of Senior Fair Board member, where he worked directly with vendors and the Grange Hall, and president of the 4-H advisory committee.

Stahl got his start with the London Strawberry Festival when it was known as the London Marigold Festival. During his first year as a city council member, he volunteered to assist with the festival and has been an active member ever since. His love for the festival doesn’t stop with him. His daughter, Jaimee, was the 1994 Marigold queen, and his granddaughter, Elizabeth, was the 2009 Jr. Miss Strawberry.

Stahl was an integral part of helping the festival become a member of the Ohio Festival and Events Association. He currently serves as president of the festival and works directly with the vendor and entertainment committees. He loves everything about the festival except for the clean-up.

Any person or group interested in participated in the London Strawberry Festival parade can find more information on the festival’s website.

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