GREENVILLE — After participating in the Danish Festival for more than 20 years with their family, Dennis and Shirley Hayes are honored to be named the 2012 Danish Festival grand marshals.
Shirley Hayes said their daughter Lisa nominated them to be the festival’s grand marshals.
“Our children feel Danish Festival is part of who we are as a family and Lisa wanted to bring this special honor to us, which we are most grateful for her thoughtfulness,” Shirley Hayes said.
They have participated in the festival for 22 years, Dennis Hayes said. While Shirley has volunteered her time to the festival for more than 10 years, he has had floats and worked concession stands while Lisa was the 1995 Danish Festival queen. Their daughter Andrea participated in the parade and ran Danish Road Run along with their son David who was the 1996 Danish Festival prince, participated in parades and the Danish dodge ball.
“The Danish Festival is part of our family,” Dennis Hayes said. “The Danish Festival has been an important part of our family’s lives and we are honored to be ambassadors of the event.”
As grand marshals, Dennis and Shirley Hayes said there are things they have to do during the festival.
They are obligated to attend certain signature events, but both hope to attend most of the events that will be presented to thoroughly be involved and enjoy this year’s festival to make memories for their family.
“I also hope to highlight the hard work that the Danish Festival Board of Directors does to present such a wonderful event for our community,” Shirley Hayes said.
Dennis Hayes said their goal is to spread the word about the importance of traditions, which has impacted the Hayes family over the years by the Danish Festival.
This year, as every year, Dennis Hayes said there are three things he hopes he takes away from the experience: to have fun, visit with family and friends and celebrate the great community they live in.
“It is quite an honor to share the title with the past recipients,” Shirley Hayes said. “When I was on the Danish Festival Board, I remembered being a part of the grand marshal selection process and reviewing nominations. It was a task that the board members took seriously,