North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

John McCoy named Strawberry Festival Grand Marshal


Courtesy Photo

John McCoy has been selected as the Grand Marshal for the 2017 Strawberry Festival.

State Senator John McCoy has been named as this year's Grand Marshal for the 2017 Strawberry Festival Grand Parade.

"I was surprised, but very excited about the honor," said McCoy. "I look forward to leading the parade," he said.

McCoy represents the 38th District in the Washington State Senate, which includes parts of north Everett, Marysville and Tulalip.

He is a member of the Tulalip Tribes and one of the few self-identified Native Americans currently part of the Washington state legislature.

The Grand Marshal is chosen through a consensus of the Maryfest board, with the parade director and the Maryfest president leading nominations, according to Maryfest member Mark Jensen.

He said that making McCoy the Grand Marshal this year was a "fabulous" idea.

"When the idea was floated I was personally somewhat surprised that this honor had never been bestowed on him before," he said.

"John McCoy has supported the festival for many years, and has worked in the community and served in our state government for more," said Jensen.

McCoy was first elected to the Washington State House of Representatives in 2003 where he served until he was appointed to the state Senate in November of 2013.

Currently he serves as the ranking Democrat on the Senate Energy, Environment & Telecommunications Committee. He also serves on the Government Operations Committee and the Trade & Economic Development Committee.

McCoy has been an advocate for increased Native American history in schools, including introducing House Bill 1495 in 2005, which encouraged districts with a federally-recognized tribe to include tribal history in their curriculum.

Since then he has pushed additional legislation to put more Native American history in local classrooms as well.

McCoy was born in Tulalip, and both he and his family have been a part of the community.

"The Strawberry Festival is something that has always been here and something that my family has always participated in, in one way or another," he said.

"I've marched in the parade as a politician and I've seen my grandkids march in the parade as part of their schools," he said.

After spending his youth in Tulalip, McCoy spent 20 years in the U.S. Air Force.

After retiring from the Air Force, he worked as a computer technician in the White House from 1982 to 1985.

Since returning to his home state, McCoy has helped lead the development of Quil Ceda Village and was the General Manager at Quil Ceda in 2000 when he retired from the business park.

John and his wife currently live in Tulalip. They have three daughters, nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

McCoy said he has always been invested in the Strawberry Festival. "It's definitely part of the community," he said.

"I'm quite honored for the recognition that the Maryfest committee has given me," he said.


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