Governor Mike Parson announced Edith Harrington, a World War II United States Cadet Nurse Corps member, as the 2021 Bicentennial Inaugural Parade Grand Marshal on Sept. 18.

"We are excited and grateful that Ms. Harrington has agreed to be the Parade Marshal for our historic Bicentennial Inaugural Parade," Governor Parson said. "Ms. Harrington served her country honorably and cared for our military service members during WWII, and she represents some of the best qualities an American and a Missourian can have. On September 18, we hope Missourians from all across the state will join us to celebrate 200 years of Missouri history."

Ms. Harrington, 98, was born and raised and has spent the majority of her life in Missouri. She graduated from Atlanta High School in 1937 and enrolled in pre-nursing courses at Kirksville State Teachers College. Ms. Harrington then went on to complete her training at the University of Missouri-Columbia. While at the University of Missouri, she cared for wounded and sick U.S. Navy soldiers at Columbia Hospital.

In 1943, Ms. Harrington joined the United States Cadet Nurse Corps (USCNC). After serving her country and completing the USCNC program, she returned home, earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and married her husband, Ward Harrington. Mr. & Ms. Harrington were married for nearly 65 years before his passing, and they lived, worked, and raised their two daughters in Macon. Ms. Harrington resides in Macon to this day and enjoys spending time with her family and friends. A photo of Governor Parson and Ms. Harrington at a recent Bicentennial Tour event at Macon Historical Society is attached.

Governor and First Lady Teresa Parson will host the Bicentennial Inaugural Parade on September 18, 2021, beginning at 10:00 a.m. Governor Parson encourages anyone who can represent a piece of Missouri history to participate in the Bicentennial Inaugural Parade. The parade will be livestreamed. The parade entry form can be found here. All entries are due by Sunday, August 15, 2021.

The parade will celebrate the swearing-in of Missouri's elected officials from this year's Bicentennial Inauguration as well as highlight the history and significance of all 114 counties and the City of Saint Louis, which compromise the state of Missouri.

The deadline to submit a Bicentennial Inaugural Parade Entry Form is Sunday, August 15, 2021. Some entries already registered to participate in the parade include:

The world-famous Budweiser Clydesdales
Statewide Elected Officials
Fort Leonard Wood 339th Army Band
Missouri National Guard Honor Guard
Missouri State University Pride Marching Band
Lincoln University Marching Musical Storm
Various businesses, organizations, and groups that represent Missouri history, and others
The Missouri State Capitol will be open to the public from 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 18, and will feature various community engagement items for Missourians visiting the Capital City that day, which include the following:

Missouri professional sports memorabilia and championship trophies
Missouri Bicentennial Quilt
Missouri Bicentennial Mural, and more

The Bicentennial Inaugural Ball will be held the same evening following the parade at the Missouri State Capitol. The Ball will take place on the Capitol’s North Portico and Lawn and will feature live music and a fireworks display. The evening begins at 6:30 p.m. with the Grand March of elected officials. All guests who plan to attend the Bicentennial Inaugural Ball are asked to RSVP by September 1, 2021, using this link.

The Bicentennial Inaugural Parade and Ball will be a historic day to enjoy with friends and family.

"We hope that everyone who is able and willing to showcase a piece of Missouri history – whether big or small – is able to join us in the historic Bicentennial Inaugural Parade on September 18," Governor Parson said.