The Marthaville Good Ole Days Festival committee on Friday announced their 2023 Good Ole Days Parade Grand Marshal will be Laurie Gentry of Many. This year marks the event’s 31st anniversary, which begins Friday night, Sept. 29, at Fuzzy Hennigan Park downtown and continues Saturday, Sept. 30, with a 10 a.m. parade, all day music and activities, food and craft vendors.
“We are proud to announce this year’s Grand Marshal is Laurie Gentry,” Festival Director Fuzzy Hennigan stated at a small, surprise reception held Aug. 25 inside the former T. M. Middleton Store in Marthaville. “Our beautiful t-shirts will, for the first time ever, be pink,” he continued, explaining, “Breast Cancer Awareness Month kicks off immediately after Good Ole Days. Our slogan across the back of this year’s shirt will say ‘Tuff enough to wear pink.’”
Among other things, Gentry is a five-year breast cancer survivor and co-founded Pink Sisters of Sabine a few years ago, which serves local breast cancer patients. Since its start, the non-profit has provided over 100 patients with recovery supply tote bags, prayer, encouragement, fuel and food cards for use during treatment and other support. In addition, Laurie is a one-year survivor of endometrial cancer, which was unrelated to her previous issue.
“It is a privilege to be selected as this year’s Grand Marshal,” Gentry shared. “For a long time, I have considered myself an ‘honorary native’ of Marthaville. I love its people and its history as if they were my own. What a blessing to have married into such a special community that I can now proudly claim! Thank you to the Festival Committee for this honor, and I thank them for using their ‘small town, big heart’ leadership to shine a light on breast cancer awareness,” she said.
Laurie is the wife of Robert Gentry, longtime journalist, newspaper publisher, founder of Rebel State Historic Site and Marthaville native. She enjoys photography, graphic design, travel, writing and music.
Other Marthaville Good Ole Days event organizers include Karen Rawls, Sheila Noe, Mitzi Roe, Bruce and Jan Tatum, and Parade Directors Phillip Strahan and Greg Goings.