Ledford G. (Pat) Stanley will serve as the honorary Grand Marshal and preside over the Meadows of Dan Christmas Parade when it gets underway in Meadows of Dan Saturday, November 30th starting at 3 p.m.
There is no fee to participate in the parade, and there also is no theme, organizers said in a release from the Meadows of Dan Community Association.
A “lifetime of service to the Meadows of Dan community” prompted Stanley’s selection, organizers said.
Stanley, a Bell Spur native has been a lifelong contributing member of the Meadows of Dan community. Born in 1937 as the youngest of eight children to timberman and farmer Ernest and homemaker Alma Stanley, Pat Stanley spent his childhood milking cows, getting up hay, and acquiring an affection for agricultural machinery that would serve him well in the years to come.
Graduating from Meadows of Dan High School in the class of 1956, Stanley took a job with Arnold Banks Tractor as a mechanic until that business closed in 1963 when Banks retired.
Given the predilection for farming in the Meadows of Dan community and inherent lack of machinery and tool support, a co-op was formed with Stanley’s support into what would become the first iteration of Meadows of Dan Farm Service. Stanley worked as a mechanic, manager, and eventually was the sole owner. With the help of many fine, skilled, and in some cases pleasantly eccentric employees, Meadows of Dan Farm Service became a nationally recognized dealer by Ford Motor Company and eventual OEM New Holland. Winning several sales and service awards, including the coveted national Presidential Award for Customer Satisfaction numerous years, Stanley enjoyed his craft, his customers, and making sure tasks were accurately performed.
Following a retirement from the dealership in 2014, Stanley continued to work in his various construction and remodeling projects, getting his hay up, and making sure the tires on his backhoe didn’t develop flat spots. He also enjoys travelling, having been to all 50 states and several foreign countries.
In March 2015, Meadows of Dan Baptist Church burned as a result of an electrical problem. The congregation, which includes Stanley, was determined to rebuild the church – which is a mainstay of the Meadows of Dan community. Stanley was instrumental in construction of the new structure, supervising and ensuring that quality materials and craftsmanship were maintained as the structure was raised. While he enjoyed the work, Stanley was glad when the construction was finished, and even prouder of the finished product.
Stanley also is a member of the mountaintop Ruritan Club, amassing attendance awards for more than 38 years, in addition to serving as president and member of numerous committees. As a member of the Ruritan Club, Stanley contributed to the formation of Meadows of Dan Fire Department and served on the department for many years. It’s quite likely that Stanley will be flipping pancakes each fall during the annual Pancake Days fundraiser on behalf of the Ruritan Club.
In 1958, Stanley married Carol Agee, also of Meadows of Dan. They have two children, Dwayne Stanley (Cathy) of Meadows of Dan and Denise (Ken) Jones of Winston-Salem, N.C. Additionally, they have two grandchildren, Drew (Kristin) Stanley of Winston-Salem, N.C. and Sam Jones of Greenville, S.C.
Also new to this year’s parade is a marching band.
Jay Durner, band director at Floyd County High School, “graciously agreed to bring the Floyd County High School band over to march and play in our little parade,” organizers wrote. Durner “had heard that we had not been able to secure a band after numerous attempts, and was kind enough to offer help in the situation.”
Parade goers also may enjoy hot chocolate and cider, provided by the Slatemont Community and organized by Linda Gillette.
Hot dogs also are available for free, provided by Vesta Church and Green Mountain Church, organized by David Boyd.
“Last but not least, we will have water, candy and faith inspired bracelets” distributed by Lori Bullock, organizers wrote.
Santa will visit, straight from the North Pole to gather children’s Christmas Lists.
All activities after the parade will be held in the Christmas in the Meadows parking lot.
The parade also will coincide with Small Business Saturday, to spotlight local merchants and underscore the importance of shopping local.
Organizers issued an open invitation to support the parade, either by watching or entering the parade itself. To enter, call Trinity Goad at (540) 230-7943.