Explorer’s kin is grand marshal
Cheryl Turner may be the most qualified Basehor resident to serve as grand marshal for this year's Independence Day celebration, which is billed as "West With Lewis and Clark," but she would be just as content watching the parade with the rest of the crowd.
"I did not expect to be grand marshal," she said. "I would be just as happy standing on the sideline waving at the people going by."
As it happened, Turner contacted Basehor PRIDE spokesman Chuck Wilderson when she heard this year's theme to tell him she was a direct descendant of John Colter, an early mountain man who accompanied the storied explorers during the famous 1803 expedition. That information was enough for Wilderson to scrap the original plan of seeking out someone named after one of the explorers.
"Growing up we had always heard we were related," Turner said. "Then my aunt did some research and went back and found out there is proof."
Once the news of Turner's selection came out, her aunt, Peggy Coulter Bryant of Lohman, Mo., decided to also participate in the celebration. Turner said having her aunt participate in the parade will be a nice opportunity to add some photographs to her family's records of the Colter connection.
"I am sure we will get some pictures," Turner said. "It is kind of nice now that we know of the connection."
The schedule of events for this year's celebration are as follows:
- 5:30 p.m. Sunday -- food and concession available at the VFW post,
- 6 p.m. -- Parade begins at 155th Street and Leavenworth Road and ends at Basehor-Linwood High School,
6:30-8 p.m. -- Live music performed by the Gospel Trailblazers and games and activities at the high school,
- 8:30 p.m. -- Citizen of the Year presentation and announcement of parade winners,
- 9 p.m. -- singing of the national anthem by BLHS student Hanna Brown,
- 9:15 p.m. -- Fireworks display.
In case of rain, the event will be held July 5.