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Meet Tom and Sydnee Watson, 2024 Parade Marshals

Tom and Sydnee Watson have deep roots in the Walla Walla Valley. Sydnee comes from a family of Italian immigrants who farmed mostly sweet onions while Tom’s family of Irish immigrants were also ranchers and farmers. Growing up, Tom worked for Pepsi and delivered their products all over the valley. Those were the days when the delivery crew had to pick up the empty bottles. Tom and Sydnee met at the Green Lantern restaurant where Sydnee worked as a bartender during lunch time. They were married in January of 1970.

In the middle 1970's, the Watson’s moved to Montana and ended up in Missoula, where Tom bought his first business, Sheehan Majestic Wholesale Grocery Distribution. He expanded the small Mom and Pop business into a northwest regional enterprise and were huge supporters of the Montana Grizzlies. After selling the business in 1993, the Watsons returned to Walla Walla where they purchased the old Maid O’ Clover convenience store and started one of two eventual convenience stores. The success of that business venture opened doors to various opportunities throughout the Walla Walla valley. They were involved in establishing Walmart, multiple Taco Bell restaurants, a furniture company, the Lions Gate Apartments, car washes, and numerous other commercial property projects.

Even though they ran their business for many years, Tom and Sydnee were still able to travel and see a lot of the country and parts of the world. They attended several Olympics, World Expos and visited the Mediterranean, Mexico, Panama Canal, and Hawaii. Traveling by motorhome for over 40 years and have been able to visit nearly every state in the US and Canada. During winter, they typically journey south in their motorhome, exploring various parts of the country. A lesser-known detail is that they have had birds, parrots, and a couple of really cute dogs as well!

Tom and Sydnee have three sons, Tom Jr, Juston, and Jason. Additionally, they have six grandchildren and two great grandchildren. The Watson family have been vital members of this community for most of their lives, contributing significantly to its growth. With deep connections to the region, they have actively contributed to the local economy and restored the iconic Ritz Mansion in Walla Walla. Their engagement extends to supporting the Walla Walla Fair & Frontier Days, and Sydnee's involvement in multiple sewing groups where she enjoys sharing her expertise, among other activities. While they've grown, aged, and moved around, their generosity has never wavered. They continually give to their community and the people around them.

The Walla Walla Fair & Frontier Days Board of Directors is pleased to have Tom and Sydnee Watson as our 2024 Parade Marshals.

Frontier Days Parade
Grand Marshals

1939 Lt. Col. Frederick Roecker
1940 Sheriff C. A. Woodward
1941 Washington Governor A. B. Langlie
1942 –1945 War Years
1946 Col. Frederick Roecker
1947 Associate Justice W.O. Douglas
1948 W.R. Winn
1949 Fay S. Legro
1950 E. N. Boylen
1951 James Blakely
1952 Hal Holmes
1953 Sheriff J. R. Cummins
1954 Eugene Tausick
1955 E. C. Burlingame
1956 R. E. Burrows
1957 Guy Kent
1958 Roy Kelly
1959 Alberta Dooly
1960 Ed Tucker
1961 C. W. Martin
1962 Clem Bergevin
1963 W. E. Falconer
1964 Howard Burgess
1965 Chet Young
1966 Claude Pennell
1967 Charles Baker
1968 Dewey Drumheller
1969 Frank Maiden
1970 Carl J. Penner
1971 Orin Walker
1972 Preston Hanson
1973 W. L. Teague
1974 Otto Hellberg
1975 Ival Sutherland
1976 Merle C. Brown
1977 Raymond Young
1978 E. A. Duncan
1979 Swede Anderson
1980 Frank LeRoux
1981 Ray Small Jr.
1982 Art Klundt & Martin Dorsey
1983 Fred Strohmaier
1984 Francis Stiller
1985 Frank Curcio
1986 Harold Jackson
1987 Don Thomas
1988 Bob Williams
1989 Margaret Bergevin & Mary Lynch
1990 Harmon Johnson
1991 Peter Brooks1992 W. L. "Shine" Minnick
1993 Jeanette Hayner
1994 Scotty Cummins
1995 Claro Bergevin
1996 John Thrasher
1997 Ed Stiller
1998 L. A. "Bud" Christensen
1999 George Collins
2000 Bob Stevens
2001 Carroll Adams & Bill Bennington Sr.
2002 Chuck Maiden
2003 Don Johnson
2004 Pat & Rod Ingham
2005 Shirley Dickerson & Greta Hassler
2006 Richard Neher
2007 Tom & Phyllis Donovan
2008 Gale Kimball
2009 Steve VanAusdle
2010 Dave & Maralyn Carey
2011 Connie Vinti & Rose Hof
2012 Leland & Carolyn Hellberg
2013 Pam & Dallas Thompson
2014 Pam Ray
2015 Ron & Marilyn Miller
2016 Dick & Juliann Moeller
2017 Ed & Chris Burlingame
2018 Jim Vinti
2019 Judy Frazier
2020 & 2021 Doug & Margie Krueger
2022 Clark & Carolyn Hansen
2023 Dick & Mary Hanson
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