Doug Ray To Lead Festival Parade
Doug Ray, a well-known Mc- Connellsburg man, has been chosen to lead the Fulton Fall Folk Festival's annual parade through town this Saturday. The announcement of Ray's selection as parade marshal for the 35th annual festival was made last week by the Fulton County Chamber of Commerce & Tourism. The parade route will run from the First Street area up Lincoln Way to the fairgrounds.
Ray, 55, will be driven in the parade by his nephew, Allen Bishop, in Bishop's restored MG convertible. When interviewed by the "News" this week, Ray said he was surprised to be asked and "I'm kind of getting excited," he said, as parade day approaches.
Doug is well known by many here in McConnellsburg and surrounding areas and is appreciated for his help with various projects and events in McConnellsburg. Most days, Doug can be found walking from his home to his place of employment, MacDonald's Pharmacy, and then to Peckie's Auto Body to do various errands for them. He is known for his large collection of T-shirts and ball caps, often displaying his favorite sports teams, the Washington Redskins and the Baltimore Orioles. He is also an avid NASCAR fan and pulls for Jeff Gordon.
He is a fixture at local sales and auctions and worked for Vernon Youngblood when he had an auction house at the Fulton Theatre.
In addition to his work at Mac- Donald's Pharmacy, Doug is also instrumental in helping clean up after events at his church, St. Paul Lutheran, in McConnellsburg. He has a 42-year pin for his faithful Sunday school attendance there. At one time, he rang the church bell every Sunday, but now does cleanup, takes out the trash, closes the church, puts up the hymn numbers for the next Sunday and takes care of the bulletin board.
Doug says he loves Fulton County "because it's the best place to live." He credits his bosses at the pharmacy, "Ben and Dave," as helping him out in life. "They are great bosses," he says, and he also praises all his friends at Peckie's Auto Body for their friendship during the years.
Although all of this may make him seem too busy for anything but work, he admits, with a twinkle in his eye, to having a girlfriend, "Julie," whom he met four years ago at the Fulton County Medical Center auction at the Hustontown Firehall.
As for this weekend, Doug says he loves all the tractors and he will definitely be spending some time at the Grease, Steam & Rust show at the fairgrounds.
Changes to this year's parade and lineup have been announced by the parade cosponsors, the Chamber of Commerce & Tourism and the Grease, Steam & Rust Association. Due to the relocation of Fulton County Medical Center, a portion of Lincoln Way will remain open before, during and after the parade for emergency vehicles. The first block of the parade from First Street to the traffic light at Second Street (Route 522) will have one lane open. People viewing the parade from that section will have to sit on the south side of Lincoln Way. There will also be an area roped off in front of the Fulton House for the long-term care residents from the Medical Center. This year, all tractors will line up on North First Street. Bands, marching units, floats and antique cars will line up on South First Street. The area between First Street and Second Street will be congested because of the changes and residents are urged to avoid this area, if possible. Local traffic only will be permitted and residents are asked to utilize off-street parking on parade morning.
Doug Ray will be front and center on Main Street during Saturday's 10:30 a.m. parade. Look for him in a "special-made" ball cap as he proudly leads tractors (including this year's featured tractor, Massey Harris), floats, antique autos and bands up the street of his hometown.