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For Immediate Release
Grand Marshal of 67th Annual Fall Foliage Parade Announced
North Adams, MA – August 22, 2023 – Jim Holmes has been selected as the Grand Marshal for the upcoming 67th Annual Fall Foliage Parade presented by 1Berkshire. The parade will be held in downtown North Adams on Sunday, October 1, 2023 at 1:00 pm. This year’s parade theme is Once Upon a Time in North Berkshire, a celebration of children’s books and fairytales.
Jim Holmes has been connected to education in North Berkshire for decades having served as a teacher, a school committee member, and most recently working with the North Adams Police Department on its reading with the department program. In 2013, Jim was to be selected Teacher of the Year.
While working at (then) North Adams State College, Jim decided to begin a career in education. He earned his degree in 1996 and began a 20-year career teaching. He credits his cooperating teacher Lynn Reilly with advice that he carried with him for his entire career: “Don’t worry about the kind of teacher you want to be, but know the kind of teacher you don’t want to be.”
“As I began my teaching career at Conte Middle School, I promised myself I would call at least one parent every week over the course of the school year to say something nice about their children,” Jim stated. Jim began working with the North Adams Police Department as a teacher because he “felt it was imperative that students have positive interactions with the North Adams Police Department.” Jim developed a forensics program which ran for many years until his retirement. After his retirement, he stayed involved with the department and many of their officers. “When COVID hit and school was not in session, we began reading to students and their families and to this day Officer Thomas and I have kept the reading alive.”
As a retiree, Jim is a substitute teacher at St Stanislaus Kostka School. He credits his family, in particular his best friend and significant other Denise, and his daughters Jessica, Stephany, and Allyson, with giving him the support to pursue his dreams and remain involved all these years.
Upon learning about Jim Holmes selection for this year’s Fall Foliage Parade’s Grand Marshal, North Adams Mayor Jennifer Macksey stated, “I am so excited to have Jim Holmes as our grand marshal. Jim truly cares for the youth of our community and knows the importance of reading to children. Jim is a true example of what giving back to the community is and means,” Mayor Macksey stated. She continued to say, “I am honored to have him in our community and thank him for the time he invests in North Adams.”
The parade committee invites the entire Berkshire community to participate in this year’s parade. The theme of Once Upon a Time in North Berkshire invites a lot of creativity. There are a variety of ways to get involved including, but not limited to signing up to have a float, entering a band/music unit, or a marching unit. We are also looking for volunteers for the parade committee or help on parade day with the lineup or as a banner carrier. Lastly, sponsorship of the parade helps with making the parade bigger and better each year. For more information about how you can help, please visit 1berkshire.com.
1Berkshire is a county-wide organization focused on economic development and promotion of the region as a preferred place to visit, to live, to work, and to grow a business. It provides programs that connect businesses with each other and with potential customers, as well as works to develop future leaders and support entrepreneurs. For more information, visit 1Berkshire.com.
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