(STL.News) – Commander Paul Galanti, one of Richmond’s most notable living veterans, will serve as the 2019 Grand Marshal for the Dominion Energy Christmas Parade. The parade celebrates its 36th anniversary on Saturday, Dec. 7, at 10 a.m. starting in front of the Science Museum of Virginia.
Commander Galanti was held as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam from 1966 to 1973. While serving his 97th combat mission, Galanti’s A-4 Skyhawk was shot down. He was captured and resided at the Hanoi Hilton, enduring torture, deprivation, solitary confinement, and the threat of death. And yet, Galanti’s faith and positive spirit saw him through such horrors.
“We’re excited to announce that Commander Paul Galanti will serve as this year’s grand marshal at the Dominion Energy Christmas Parade. This year’s theme is ‘Inspiring Stories,’ and there isn’t a more inspiring person to honor and celebrate,” said Parade Director Beth Karrer. “In addition to our Grand Marshal, we’re kicking off the parade by honoring and celebrating several veterans’ inspiring stories, including our Honorary Grand Marshals, nonprofits Leashes of Valor and the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Paralyzed Veterans of America.”
Leashes of Valor provides service dogs for veterans, and the Paralyzed Veterans of America is dedicated to veterans’ service, medical research and civil rights for people with disabilities.
“We’re honored to sponsor Richmond’s premier Christmas parade for the tenth year,” said Hunter A. Applewhite, president of the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation. “We love to see our community come together every December for this cherished holiday tradition.”
This year’s lineup features more than 100 units including themed floats, giant helium balloons, college marching bands, costumed dancers, a military tribute, and Legendary Santa courtesy of Children’s Museum of Richmond. The Dominion Energy Christmas Parade is open to the public and free for all spectators.
About the Dominion Energy Christmas Parade
Richmond Parade, Inc. is a non-profit organization that hosts the Dominion Energy Christmas Parade. This is the tenth year that the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation has sponsored the parade. The beloved Christmas Parade showcases regional talent, including high school and college marching bands, high-stepping equestrian units, dance troupes, themed floats, super-sized helium balloons, Legendary Santa and tons of fun!