Meet the grand marshals for McClouds' Lumberjack Fiesta

Shareen Strauss
Mt. Shasta Area Newspapers

The 2021 McCloud Lumberjack Fiesta next weekend will be doubly fun, to make up for its absence last year.

The 74th Lumberjack Fiesta Parade that will head down Main Street in McCloud on Friday, July 24 will have two Grand Marshals this year: Fred and Peg Bennett for 2021 and Shareen Strauss for 2020. 

"COVID ain't taking everything away, we're still acknowledging our 2020 Grand Marshal Shareen Strauss," said McCloud Community Recreation Council President Patty Ballard-Faulkner.

Here's the schedule of events for this weekend's McCloud Lumberjack Fiesta Days.

Though Fred and Peg Bennett moved away from McCloud in 2004 due to a lack of work in the area, they are still very much part of McCloud – its history and its growth – making the town what it is today. 

Fred and Peg Bennett honored as 2021 Fiesta grand marshals

Both Fred and Peg (Glynn) Bennett were born and lived the majority of their lives in McCloud. Fred lived in Pondosa and from the fifth grade on, and went to the same school as Peg. They didn't know each other until Peg moved into her mother's house to help raise her siblings after her mother died, which just happened to be right next door to Fred's on Quincy Street.

Peg and Fred Bennett will be the Grand Marshal for the McCloud 74th Lumberjack Fiesta.

Married 45 years, the Bennetts both were volunteer firefighters and EMTs with the McCloud Fire Department and both worked their way up through the ranks during their years of service. In Fred's 30 years with the McCloud Fire Department he worked as an engineer, captain and then assistant chief under Peter Telosano. Peg was the first female firefighter on the MFD as a firefighter, EMT 1 then became one of 5 EMT 2s and moved up the ranks to retire after 21 years as the captain of the ambulance. 

Fred, a timber faller and logger, worked for Champion, for Raymond Hitchcock, and then at P&M Cedar for 15 years. 

Peg held different jobs in McCloud through the years – P&M for 18 years until it shut down, then US Plywood, and Champion. She drove the kidney van, taking dialysis patients to Redding and started her own lawn mowing business. She also worked at the MilkyWay, Frosty's and at the Mountain House. 

The Bennets were both active members of the Squaw Valley Riding Club, McCloud Golf Club and the McCloud Firemen's Association. 

"They are good people, always helping others out," said Peter Telosano.

At the last McCloud Monster Alumni Reunion, many people came up to Peg to thank her for taking care of their parents, and because of this she was nominated as Fiesta's 2021 Grand Marshal.  

"I'm very honored that we were nominated to be this year's grand marshals. This means a lot to us," said Peg. "I wish I could be there." 

Due to health issues, the Bennetts will be unable ride in the parade. Peg's siblings, Jerry Glynn and Claudette Jackson, will accept the award on their behalf.   

The Bennetts' fondest memories growing up in McCloud were of the Lumberjack Fiestas in the 1950s and '60s, when it was held at the old high school where the American Legion is today. The mill would close down and everyone would either work or participate in the activities. The pool was open in those days, there was the gem and mineral show. The Pellegrinos held the Bingo games and the Ferentinos had the dollhouse. The Girl Scouts had the ping pong ball in the fish bowl game and the Boy Scouts sold the best corn dogs, according to the Bennetts. There was the little train and the elephant train that took people to the Fiesta. 

McCloud correspondent Shareen Strauss was honored as 2020's Fiesta grand marshal. She'll be riding in the parade this weekend.

2020 grand marshal is Shareen Strauss

Known as the bird lady, the news reporter, or the animal whisperer, Shareen Strauss will be present in this year's Fiesta Parade as the grand marshal of 2020. 

The 21-year resident of McCloud has always been active in the community. She originally came to McCloud to open up a medical facility when there wasn't one. She involved herself in helping the seniors in town and later, becoming a part of the McCloud Community Resource Team. Every Christmas, she would ride down Main Street  announcing Santa's arrival on her horse that she decorated for the holidays. Her involvement led her to become the town's newspaper reporter and local television station anchor. 

An auxiliary member and board member of the McCloud Heritage Junction Museum, Strauss has also served on the board of the Squaw Valley Riding Club. She is a supporter of the McCloud Volunteer Fire Department, the Chamber, both the elementary and high schools, Shareen Strauss has said that McCloud feels like it has always been her home and she is proud to be an active part of the community.