Kremmling’s annual Kremmling Days celebration has always been fortunate to have Grand Marshals that are much more than mere figureheads in a parade. They are residents who exemplify active participation in their community, have a positive impact on those around them, and promote the heritage and well-being of Kremmling.
That tradition will continue in 2021 with Josh and Emily Pedersen at the head of Saturday’s Kremmling Days Parade as this year’s Grand Marshals.
Josh is a near-native of Kremmling, moving to Kremmling at the age of two and graduating from West Grand High School in 2000. He left only for a brief time, while he attended Grinnell College in Iowa, and returned a short four years later with wife, Emily.
Emily grew up in Minnesota but was clearly fated to be a Kremmling citizen, something made apparent when, as a student at Grinnell, she found herself surrounded by not only Kremmling graduates but their visiting families. “I met all these Kremmling people, got to know their families when they came to watch them play sports–which was really fun!–met Josh, and the rest is history.”
And indeed, the Pedersens have now spent nearly two decades ensconced together in Kremmling community life.
Josh works alongside his father, Jhan, in their business, West End Rental & Tires, offering much-needed equipment and quality tire care to their friends and neighbors. He is a long-time coach of area youth, helping to coach high school football, youth baseball, and peewee basketball.
Emily just celebrated 15 years at the Grand County Library District, helping to provide a true community center to Kremmling residents of all ages. Just a peek at the varied programs she helps oversee would include both traditional book lending as well as the lending of such things as musical instruments and sporting equipment, youth and adult activities and classes, a world of online knowledge and resources, and–of course–the summer reading program.
Emily is treasurer of the West Grand Community Education Foundation and previously held the same position for the Kremmling Preschool. She volunteers with the local Girl Scouts. She scores basketball and volleyball at the high school, noting that she would have to be deathly ill to miss a game. And she is looking forward to becoming more involved with the West Grand Booster Club.
Together, Josh and Emily help with local track meets and have coached tee-ball. They are both very involved with their church, the Parshall Chapel.
The Pedersens expressed surprise at being named Grand Marshals for this year’s Kremmling Days, joking, “Are we old enough for that?” But seriously, the couple says that they are honored by being thought of as among those who have given so much to their community and to be recognized at Kremmling’s seminal annual festival.
Josh fondly remembers the event from childhood, when he would use his winnings from the Firemen’s Games to buy his fireworks for the Fourth of July.
Emily remarks on how much she loves working with co-workers, kids, and community members to make the Library float each year, meeting the challenge to come up with an idea that matches the themes of both Kremmling Days and the Summer Reading Program.
“I hope everyone looks for the Library’s float this year! Because… wow! Our volunteers really outdid themselves!”
Emily observes how much Kremmling Days, the parade, and the floats remind her of Midwest summers filled with local festivals and a constant rotation of royalties, friends, and families going from town to town and parade to parade.
Both the Pedersens still love the Firemen’s games, especially watching their children, now going into 4th and 7th grades, participate in them over the years. This year, they are looking forward to enjoying the Friday night barbecue, ”watching the kids be kids,” and just appreciating their Kremmling community.
“We’re just glad to see everyone come back together as a community after last year,” Emily concludes, referring to the much simplified 2020 Kremmling Days event, and Josh agrees.