The City of Noblesville has announced the grand marshals for its annual July 4 parade, Ella Whistler and Jason Seaman, the victims of the May 25 Noblesville West Middle School shooting.
“As grand marshals, the community has the opportunity to show our love and support for them and everyone impacted as we continue to cope with the actions of that day,” Mayor John Ditslear said. “The Seaman and Whistler families are humble and private people so we appreciate them accepting this role and leading our Fourth of July celebration.”
“It’s a great reflection that the community wants Ella and me as grand marshals and that we are both physically able to participate,” he said. “Noblesville continues to pull together to show we are one unified community.”
“It is an honor to be asked to be grand marshal for the Fourth of July,” Whistler states. “It’s very thoughtful, and I’m honored to do it with Mr. Seaman.”
Whistler will be an eighth grade student at NWMS this fall.
“Noblesville is our hometown, and we’ve been touched by all the thoughts, prayers and support we’ve received from our community and across the nation and globe,” said Cory Whistler, Ella’s father.
The parade also will include Noblesville West Middle School Nurse Megan Schlueter and Noblesville Police Officer Michael Steffen, who serves as the school resource officer, as guests of honor.
“Megan and Officer Steffen played a pivotal role on May 25 and their quick actions saved lives,” Ditslear said. “They are unsung heroes, so it will be wonderful to have them recognized by the Noblesville community as well.”
To end the parade, the Noblesville Fourth of July Planning Committee is inviting all NWMS students, parents, teachers and staff that wish to walk to participate. No registration is necessary. The parking lot between Ivy Tech and the Noblesville Boys & Girls Club (17th Street entrance) will serve as the meeting spot for this group before and after the parade.
Participants are asked at arrive by 4 p.m. Those that participate need to walk from the start to the end of the route and students will not be permitted to join in or leave during the parade as a safety precaution.
Others interested in participating have until July 2 to submit entry forms, which are available online at noblesvillefireworksfestival.com. Registration is $20. The city is waiving the entry fee to all nonprofits organizations that want to participate.