An Olympian and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools new superintendent will share the spotlight Thursday in the 65th Belk Carolinas Carrousel Parade.
Charlottes annual Thanksgiving Day parade, which organizers say is one of the biggest in the country, begins at 10 a.m. and will follow a route along Tryon Street through uptown.
This years grand marshal is Heath Morrison, who became CMS superintendent this summer. Also featured in the parade will be Ricky Berens, a South Mecklenburg High graduate, and a three-time Olympian who won a gold medal in the London Olympic Games this summer.
The parade is actually the second part of Carrousel festivities this week. Students from dozens of Charlotte-area high schools will compete Wednesday evening in the annual Scholarship Awards ceremony. That event takes place at the Omni Charlotte.
Carrousel board president Jeff Collins said its fitting to have Morrison as grand marshal of a parade that honors scholarship winners.
Each year, the parade honors our Carrousel Scholarship winners, all of whom are outstanding students, Collins said. Dr. Morrisons appearance as grand marshal in the parade and at the scholarship awards ceremony emphasizes our commitment to education.
Collins said he also is glad to have Berens in the parade. Seeing Ricky will be very special for the spectators along the parade route and for the WBTV viewing audience, he says.
The parade is broadcast on delay at 4 p.m. Thursday by WBTV (Channel 3).
Berens, who attended the University of Texas, said he is extremely excited to be a part of the Belk Carolinas Carrousel Parade.
It is incredible to come back home and see the support this community has given me throughout my swimming career, he said.