Deena Johnson to lead Orion parade

Mindy Carls
Deena Johnson of rural Orion, a longtime volunteer with Orion Fall Festival and other events and organizations, will serve as grand marshal of the Fall Festival parade at noon on Saturday, Sept. 4.

Long-time Orion volunteer Deena Johnson will serve as grand marshal of the Orion Fall Festival parade at noon Saturday, Sept. 4.

Sponsored by Lynn Implement Repair, the parade has “We’re Back, America Strong” as its theme.

The parade is stepping off earlier this year and will use a new route. Johnson will lead the parade entries out of the Orion Middle School parking lot and east onto 12th Avenue.

At 10th Street, the parade will turn north to go to 11th Avenue, where it will turn left to travel west to Fourth Street.

There the parade will turn left again to pass in front of the announcer’s stand at BankORION.

At 12th Avenue, the parade will turn left and return to the middle school.

Johnson has been involved in Orion Fall Festival for more than 25 years. Since 1995, she has paired with someone to announce the entries as they roll by. She has been co-chairman of the parade since 2005.

She helped with registration and computers at the Fall Festival’s 5K and 10K runs. She served as co-director of the runs from 2001 until 2005.

Johnson worked at the festival’s Saturday and Sunday night dinners from 2000 until the present.

She received the Special Appreciation Award given by the pie contest in September 2005 to volunteers in recognition of their efforts during the festival.

But Orion Fall Festival is only one event where Johnson pitches in.

While her sons were in grade school and middle school, she coached their Orion Soccer League and travel soccer teams.

She was the director of the Orion Area Chamber of Commerce, serving as chairman of the annual garage sales and president for three years.

Johnson served at numerous golf outings sponsored by Orion Lions Club and other charities.

She has been on the Orion Fireworks Festival committee from its beginning in 2004 until the present.

Johnson has been employed by Svea Mutual Insurance Company, Orion, since 1981. She is the assistant manager.

In May 2001, she received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Cooperative Education Club (CECO) for exemplary achievement since graduation from Orion High School.