The City of Wentzville has announced that the Grand Marshall for this year’s Fourth of July parade will be Ralph Barrale.
Barrale is a perfect example of this year’s parade theme – Hail Our American Heritage. Ralph Barrale was born on Jan. 22, 1924, in St. Louis. He joined the U.S. Army in May of 1943 at the age of 19 and saw action in some of the most famous battles of World War II. During the course of his career, Barrale served with the First Army, Third Army, Fourth Army, Ninth Army, 3rd Corps, 12th Corps and 15th Corps.
As a result of his service, his already intense patriotism became a passion that has remained with him through the years. He has been active in many veterans’ organizations and served as Commander of VFW Post 10350 for 15 years in Lake Saint Louis. As a tribute to all the men and women who have served our country, Barrale initiated a campaign to honor them. As a direct result of his efforts, portions of local roads from 5th Street in St. Charles all the way to the City of Warrenton have been re-designated as Veterans Memorial Parkway.
Barrale also serves the community as a volunteer and former vice-chairman for Wentzville’s Green Lantern Senior Center. Here, he is the resident bingo caller and, during the monthly dances, Barrale (age 93) and his wife, Rose (age 92), are the first ones on the dance floor and the last ones off. In June, the couple celebrated their 71st anniversary. They have three children, seven grandchildren and 13 great- grandchildren.
The Fourth of July parade kicks off at 10 a.m. The parade begins at the corner of Campus Drive and Pearce Boulevard and will travel east down Pearce Boulevard, ending at the corner of Pearce and Luetkenhaus Boulevard. Residents are invited to set up their chairs along the route and join in the fun.
After the parade, a fun-filled afternoon is planned at Progress Park, 968 Meyer Road, with free swimming from noon to 5 p.m. Progress Park will be full of other activities in the evening with free inflatables, face painting, ultimate bungee and inflatable mini-golf from 5 to 8:45 p.m.; live music from 6-9 p.m. featuring The Riverside Band; and a professional fireworks display that will begin at 9:05 p.m.
For questions, please contact Wentzvile Parks and Recreation at (636) 332-9236. Please note that parking at Progress Park will be somewhat limited and visitors are encouraged to drive in and drop off attendees before they park off site.