Mayor John Ditslear has announced that Noblesville West Middle School student Ella Whistler and seventh-grade science teacher Jason Seaman will serve as the grand marshals for the 2018 Noblesville Fourth of July Parade.

“On May 25, the Noblesville community was rocked at our foundation. Jason and Ella’s words and actions have assisted many dealing with the tragic event. As grand marshals, the community has the opportunity to show our love and support for them and everyone impacted as we continue to cope with the actions of that day,” said Ditslear. “The Seaman and Whistler families are humble and private people so we appreciate them accepting this role and leading our Fourth of July celebration.”

July 4thSeaman recently finished his fourth year teaching at Noblesville Schools. Seaman played football at Southern Illinois University, where he graduated in 2011. He serves as a middle school football coach and has been a track and field coach. The Seaman family are members of Cornerstone Lutheran Church and enjoy being outdoors. He and his wife, Colette, have been married seven years and have two young children.

“It’s a great reflection that the community wants Ella and me as grand marshals and that we are both physically able to participate,” he said. “Noblesville continues to pull together to show we are one unified community.”

“It is an honor to be asked to be grand marshal for the Fourth of July,” added Whistler. “It’s very thoughtful and I’m honored to do it with Mr. Seaman.”

Whistler, who will be an eighth grade student at NWMS this fall, loves dancing, music, playing volleyball and cheerleading. She performs in the school’s choir and show choir and is active in her church. Whistler also enjoys being outdoors, camping, shopping and furthering her relationship with God.

“Noblesville is our hometown and we’ve been touched by all the thoughts, prayers and support we’ve received from our community and across the nation and globe,” said Cory Whistler, Ella’s father.

The parade also will include Noblesville West Middle School Nurse Megan Schlueter and Noblesville Police Officer Michael Steffen, who serves as the school resource officer, as guests of honor.

“Megan and Officer Steffen played a pivotal role on May 25 and their quick actions saved lives,” said Ditslear. “They are unsung heroes so it will be wonderful to have them recognized by the Noblesville community as well.”

To end the parade, the Noblesville Fourth of July Planning Committee is inviting all NWMS students, parents, teachers and staff that wish to walk to participate. No registration is necessary. The parking lot between Ivy Tech and the Noblesville Boys & Girls Club (17th Street entrance) will serve as the meeting spot for this group before and after the parade. Participants are asked at arrive by 4 p.m. Like other parade entries, those that participate need to walk from the start to the end of the route and students will not be permitted to join in or leave during the parade as a safety precaution.

“This year’s parade will start and end with West Middle School and be a great reminder of the love and support the community has for all those affected,” said Ditslear. “Due to anticipated numbers, parents are strongly encouraged to walk with their child or a group of children to provide supervision and help with keeping the group organized. Again, the group will have the same meeting point before and after the parade to help with coordination.”

Others interested in participating in the 2018 Noblesville July 4th Parade have until Monday, July 2 to submit entry forms, which are available online at http://noblesvillefireworksfestival.com. PDFs may be printed or an interactive version is available that may be filled out and sent electronically to mhoffmeister@noblesville.in.us. Entries also may be dropped off at Forest Park Inn, 701 Cicero Road, and the Mayor’s Office in Noblesville City Hall, 16 South 10th Street. Registration is $20. The City of Noblesville is waiving the entry fee to all nonprofits organizations that want to participate.

This year’s free festivities will take place on Wednesday, July 4 with the theme of “Stars and Stripes Forever in Noblesville.” The fun begins with the Logan Street Signs and Banners sponsored parade starting at 4:30 p.m. The fireworks festival sponsored by IDI Composites follows from 6 to 10 p.m. with activities for kids, teens and adults, music, food vendors and more. At approximately 10 p.m., the annual fireworks display sponsored by Terry Lee Hyundai will begin.

The biggest challenge faced each year is finding enough volunteers to staff the festival and parade. Volunteer shifts are 5:30 to 8 p.m. and 7:30 to 10 p.m. with opportunities to assist in monitoring the kids’ activities and more. Volunteers still have plenty of time to enjoy the festival and fireworks with their family and friends before or after their shift. Businesses and organizations volunteering can earn in-kind trade of discounted rates for facility rentals. To volunteer or for more information, contact nhaberlin@noblesville.in.us or call (317) 770-5750.

For more information about sponsoring or donating to the activities, contact Kristi Spehler at 317-776-6350.