Closes' community service prompted grand marshals honor
This year's grand marshals have missed few Dublin Independence Day celebrations since moving to Dublin more than 30 years ago.
Mike and Chris Close are usually part of the parade and have a table at the evening celebration, but this year they will enjoy a different experience at Dublin's Independence Day Celebration.
"We've always marched in the parade with the (Dublin AM) Rotary," Mrs. Close said.
"In my recollection, I think we missed a Fourth of July in Dublin twice in 30 years," Mr. Close said.
"Other than that we're at every parade," he said.
"Back before the city solicited volunteer organizations, we were the volunteers that did the Dublin parade.
"We've done the festivities at the park with the kids on the Fourth of July. We have a big group of friends that have done the fireworks ever since there were Dublin fireworks," Mr. Close said.
"Our day will not change much by being grand marshal. We'll get better seats at the parade."
The grand marshal honor is given each year to a person or people that have had a big impact on Dublin.
"This is our hometown and we are grand marshals and I'm just tickled plain and simple," Mr. Close said. "I'm such an old cynic, it takes a lot to be tickled."
The honor also means the couple's three children and grandchildren will be in town for the event.
"It's going to be so much fun because we have the whole family there," Mrs. Close said.
"That will be fun. We'll have all the grandchildren here and they're 1 to 8 (years old) so they will enjoy riding in the parade and having fun with it."
Being honored for their involvement in the community was a surprise for the couple.
Mr. Close, a lawyer and former Dublin mayor, said getting involved means being part of the community.
"I think both of us have always had the attitude that you shouldn't complain about the way other people are doing things unless you're willing to take a shot at it," he said. "We both had flexibility in our schedules and time to be involved. It was natural for us."
With time served on the Franklin County Veterans Service Commission and the Dublin AM Rotary -- he's in line to be president next year -- Mr. Close said his time on Dublin City Council stands out in his mind.
"I personally thought I had as much fun as being on City Council and being mayor as anything I've done in my life," he said.
"It was an exciting time. This town was growing by huge leaps and bounds," Mr. Close said. "Thirty years later it's fun to see what a bunch of people who got involved have done. When we moved here there were 2,000. To see 40,000 people, it's kind of fun. It keeps you young."
Mrs. Close, a Dublin realtor, has treasured her involvement with the Dublin Foundation and plans to continue.
"The Dublin Foundation is one of the things I'd love to continue with," she said.
"A couple of us would like to see the foundation grow and expand. I've been on the Emerald Ball committee to raise money since it started... .
"With the Dublin Foundation you can give money to people here in the community where they start other projects," Mrs. Close said.
As grand marshals, Chris and Mike will ride in the parade, judge floats and judge table decorations at the concert.
Both are looking forward to seeing Chicago perform in the Dublin Coffman High School stadium.
"I'm not a groupie, but of all the bands we've had, Chicago would have to be my favorite," Mr. Close said.
For more information about Dublin's Independence Day festivities, look online at dublinohiousa.gov/independence-day-celebration/.