Fort Worth civil rights legend Opal Lee to serve as Grand Marshal for Parade of Lights Read more at:

November 16,2021

See full Fort Worth Star-Telegram article by Stefan Stevenson here.

Fort Worth legend and civil rights icon Opal Lee will serve as the Grand Marshal for the 39th annual GM Financial Parade of Lights in downtown.

The 2.2-mile parade around downtown is scheduled for 6 p.m. Sunday.

The 95-year-old Lee, a retired teacher, author and humanitarian, helped Juneteenth become the 11th federal holiday in June.

Lee will be joined on the parade by her family and criminal justice reform advocate Dr. Belay Reddick.

The Grand Marshal float design will include the name of Lee and Reddick’s shared message — the “Change is Possible Tour” — and will be underwritten by longtime Parade of Lights supporters Karen and Larry Anfin.

At 1 p.m. Sunday, 1,000 free copies of Lee’s children’s book “Juneteenth: A Children’s Story,” will be distributed to the community by FedEx Express team members at General Worth Square (at Main Street between 8th and 9th Streets).

The book introduces the history of slavery and freedom to children in an easy-to-understand way, while also highlighting the celebration of Juneteenth and the importance of commemorating the milestone across America.

Lee’s efforts advocating for Juneteenth included receiving more than 1.6 million signatures on a petition to mark June 19 as a federal holiday.

Previous Grand Marshals include former Mayor Betsy Price, Bill Bob’s Texas owners Pam and Billy Minick, conductor Miguel Harth-Bedoya, U.S. Navy Captain Henry Kim, and singer-songwriter Grady Spencer. This year’s parade theme is “Making Spirits Bright.” The parade includes more than 100 professionally designed and illuminated floats, marching bands, The Wheelie-ing Elvis (mini-motorcycle riding Elvis look-a-likes), unicyclists, classic cars, jugglers, and Santa and Mrs. Claus.