Jeff Noble has led Dublin's Independence Day parade previously.

Jeff Noble has led Dublin's Independence Day parade previously.

The 25-year U.S. Army veteran led the parade as part of the color guard for the local American Legion post, but this year he'll serve as the grand marshal for Dublin's Independence Day parade and festivities.

The longtime Dublin resident said he has no Independence Day traditions, but he has spent several years at the head of the parade that will begin at 11 a.m. Monday, July 4.

"I'm commander of the local Legion post, and we do the color guard for the parade, so I've done the parade before," he said. "But I've never done the event at the high school. It'll be a new experience for me."

In the army, Noble served as a helicopter pilot and retired as a lieutenant colonel. To him, the Fourth of July is an important holiday.

"It's a worthwhile holiday, and I look forward to supporting that," he said.

Dublin chooses its grand marshal annually via a committee of previous grand marshals, City Manager Marsha Grigsby and Mayor Tim Lecklider. The honor is given to "an individual who has made a significant contribution to the city through volunteer and professional efforts and has demonstrated patriotism through the development of community and/or community values," a news release from the city stated.

Noble has contributed to the city as a member of the Wesley G. Davids Dublin Post 800 of the American Legion, as a volunteer basketball and track coach at St. Brigid of Kildare School and as an 11-year Dublin Irish Festival volunteer.

"Not only has he been a chairperson of the volunteer committee for the festival, but for the past several years he was also instrumental with helping as a project leader for police riot drills last summer," said Christine Nardecchia, Dublin's volunteer coordinator. "Jeff, who is a retired colonel, is now known around the police department as Col. Noble. He represented the volunteer committee for the drill. He was terrific with keeping the crowd in order and getting them roiled up."

Noble also has been involved with Memorial Day and Veterans Day activities in the community and enjoys teaching students about appreciating their freedoms, Nardecchia said.

"He's one of those people who doesn't just serve himself; he inspires other to serve, as well," she said. "Jeff is the perfect example of the typical baby boomer looking to do meaningful service and has leadership and communication skills to do that. I'm grateful to say he's one of our best volunteer partners out there. He's been involved with the festival since 2000, so this is his 11th year with the Dublin Irish Festival as a city volunteer. He's something."

Noble, who moved to the Columbus area in 1991 and Dublin in 1993, said he has plenty of time to volunteer around the community since retiring.

As grand marshal, Noble will be called upon to lead the parade and judge the float-decorating contest. He'll also judge the table-decorating contest in the evening.

Independence Day festivities will begin at 8 a.m. with the Sherm Sheldon Fishing Derby, followed by the parade at 11 a.m. Evening activities will begin at 5 p.m. with the Skyhoundz Hyperflite Canine Frisbee Disc Championship at 5 p.m. Smokey Robinson will perform at 8:15, with fireworks slated for 9:50.

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