SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Keeping with the theme “Cream of the Crop,” the Illinois State Fair selected four heroic firefighters as this year’s Twilight Parade Grand Marshals. The 2010 Grand Marshals are past recipients of prestigious awards from the state of Illinois for their outstanding bravery and service to the community.
“In addition to celebrating Illinois’ agricultural roots, we wanted to recognize the brave men and women who put their lives on the line day in and day out thanks to their commitment to public service and public safety. In my book, Illinois firefighters are the ‘Cream of the Crop,’” Illinois State Fair Manager Amy Bliefnick said.
The 2010 Grand Marshals are:
• Lieutenant Michael McCastland (Oak Lawn Fire Department, 2010 Medal of Honor award recipient) risked his life to save another firefighter trapped in a burning home.
• Firefighters Steve Teslicka and Ryan Hotz (Macomb Fire Department, 2008 Medal of Valor award recipients) saved two fellow firefighters that were trapped in a burning building after the roof collapsed.
• Firefighter Steven Williams (Marion Fire Department, 2008 Medal of Honor award recipient) put himself in harm’s way to save a woman trapped inside her burning house.
The Twilight Parade is held on Preview Day, Thursday, Aug. 12. It will begin at 6 p.m. at the corner of 9th Street and North Grand Avenue and end inside the Illinois State Fairgrounds. The Illinois State Fair runs Friday, Aug. 13 through Sunday, Aug. 22. For more information, please visit www.illinoisstatefair.info.