|2013 Grand Marshal Elaine Grinnell|
Each year the Grand Marshal is selected by the Irrigation Festival Committee as someone who has made significant contributions to the community.
The Grand Marshall for the 2013 Irrigation Festival is Elaine Grinnell.
Elaine Grinnell will serve as grand parade marshal during the 118th Irrigation Festival this coming May. Over her 76 years, the Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe citizen has clung close to her cultural and geographic roots, having been reared by her grandparents, David and Mary Prince until age 10 in the tribe's original Jamestown community, established in 1874. She graduated from Port Angeles High School, earned a degree in counseling and worked for the Port Angeles School District as a counselor to Native American students. She married Fred Grinnell 52 years ago and the couple has three children: Jack, Julie and Kurt, plus nine grandchildren. After their children graduated from high school, the couple moved back to Jamestown on property that had remained in her family over the decades.
Long before the tribe was federally recognized in 1981, Grinnell served on its tribal council in the early 1970s and today is an honored elder of the tribe. She continues to take an active role, as a member of the housing improvement committee, and working on education and scholarship opportunities with the tribe. For the past several years, Grinnell has been a storyteller of S'Klallam legends to other tribes and non-natives, including at the annual canoe journeys. She is a member of the Northwest Native American Basket Weavers Association and Northwest Native American Storytellers Association, teaching others how to tell stories.
Upon being named grand marshal, Grinnell said, "I can remember going to the Irrigation Festival as a small child. My mother, Mildred Judson, was a grand marshal, too, and I think it's the most exciting thing to happen during this lifetime of mine, to represent the people of Clallam County. I am especially honored because I think it's the first time a native person, other than my mother, was selected. I am very excited because all of my kids are going to try to make it back for the parade."
Biography by Pat Coate