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Thanks for parade coverage

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I want to thank the Deseret News for the coverage it gave to the Grand Parade in Provo.

I also want to thank the great crowd of nearly a quarter of a million people for the respectful yet enthusiastic manner in which they celebrated our nation's independence and freedoms. The former prisoners of war who were our grand marshals told me they were deeply moved by the standing ovation and respect shown to them.

Thank heaven as well for the enormous financial contributions of Nu Skin enterprises and other contributors. They made the parade possible.

I also want to thank the 2,000-plus parade participants. The people who built or were on the floats, band directors and members, pilots, street entertainers, equestrians, bikers, marchers, drivers, dignitaries and balloon handlers were so filled with the patriotic spirit that makes our country great.

My staff of 300 volunteers needs kudos as well. They pulled it all together and made it work. Not a single entry entered the parade late! It's great to see people from all walks of life arm in arm, elbow to elbow, working together to celebrate the freedom that is America's promise.

Mark Stoddard

Chairman, Freedom Festival Grand Parade 2000