Businesswoman Eileine Simmons, 91 at the time, was the first grand marshal for the newly organized 1990 Grove City Arts in the Alley Parade. Grove City hosted parades in past years but a large parade had not been held since the Grove City Community Fair Board, later known as the Grove City Festival Committee, ceased operation.
“It’s an honor,” she said being selected as parade marshal. “It’s an easy job. All I have to do is smile and wave and sit in a car. I love it because I love Grove City.” Her parade featured 100 units, a military A-7 flyover of jet bombers and four high school marching bands.
Mrs. Simmons and her husband came to Grove City in the 1930s when the population was about 1,200. She was an individual who always praised Grove City. She owned Heleine’s, a women’s and children’s apparel store, for 18 years. In 1970, she became the first woman to serve on Grove City Council.
She was always a big high school band booster. When the Grove City Greyhound marching band performed at the Rose Bowl, she raised $150 making and selling crocheted doilies to help with expenses. She had been making doilies since she was 10. This effort also provided her with national recognition when she appeared on ABC News the day of the Rose Bowl Parade.
James F. Hale – 2000