By Anna Skinner
When Mayor Jim Brainard was giving a speech before awarding the Range Line Pioneer to a recipient, CarmelFest Parade Director Peggy Powell said she had no idea he was talking about her.
“I had no idea whatsoever,” Powell said. “When the mayor started making his speech, I was listening and was wondering who it was going to be. I thought it would be several people, but I had no idea it was going to be me, and I was very surprised and honored.”
Powell retired as parade director after this year’s CarmelFest.
“The award was given to me because I’ve had eight years of service to the community for directing the CarmelFest Parade,” she said. “I’ll still be in involved in CarmelFest in some way. It’ll take me a while to get everything wrapped up, and I’ll keep busy with the Carmel Rotary. That’s for sure.”
Powell said over the years, the parade has expanded most in the amount of spectators that attend. She said her favorite float was the Ballet Folkloric Mosaicos, a Mexican folk ballet.
“It’s full of energy and beautiful costumes and exciting-looking masks,” she said of the ballet. “This year, they choreographed a special routine just for the parade.
“I would say (the parade has) mostly grown by the audience we have had. It’s gotten larger and larger every year, and we work real hard to get exciting entries into the parade,” she added. “We try to be careful so it doesn’t become commercialized. We just want everybody to have a good time. We have a huge grand finale for the military at the end of the parade, and that’s always very popular.”
The military grand finale has been going on all eight years Powell has been the parade director. The new CarmelFest parade director has not yet been announced.