Long-time community volunteer Millard Ingram has been selected as grand marshal of the 7th Annual Downtown Parade of Lights Benefiting Shop with Cops.
Ardmore Main Street Authority Promotion Committee Chairman Daniel Romo said Ingram's selection was an easy decision for the group.
"He's been with the Main Street program since its inception," Romo said. "He is so enthusiastic in his support of the program and downtown Ardmore. We thought he was due to be recognized for his contributions."
Ingram came to Ardmore in 1956 as manager of Daube's Department Store. Following the department store's closing in 1989, Ingram worked another five years for the Daube Company before retiring. From the day he arrived, Ingram immersed himself in projects and activities aimed at enhancing the community.
That community activism never wavered and he became an even more committed volunteer in his retirement. One of his favorite accomplishments since his retirement was helping to raise money to renovate the Santa Fe Depot, which now houses the Main Street Authority office and serves as a community gathering spot.
Ingram, whose wife JoAnne, will be seated by his side as the parade proceeds down Main Street from Central Park to the Santa Fe Depot, said he was pleased to have been selected as the 2012 parade marshall.
"I am very honored to have been selected as this year's grand marshal," he said.
Ingram said the Parade of Lights was especially significant for him because of his longtime involvement in Daube's Department Store's magical Christmas window displays that enchanted downtown Ardmore visitors for decades. "Daube's had a long tradition in helping the town celebrate the Christmas season. People came from all over to see the holiday window decorations," he said.
The Parade of Lights is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday following the "Christmas Tree Lighting" in Central Park. Again this year, the parade benefits the Ardmore Fraternal Order of Police "Shop With Cops" program. The FOP project finances a special holiday shopping experience for children who are victims of crimes or simply less fortunate. Each child receives $100 to spend and is taken shopping by an off duty police officer. FOP members volunteer their time to make the experience a memory the child will carry with them for a lifetime.
Romo said VIP seating will be available on bleachers near the judging stand, located on Main Street between B and C Streets. To ask questions call the Ardmore Main Street Authority at (580) 226-6246 or visit www.ardmoremainstreet.com.