Poolesville parade marshal: ‘I’ll just smile and wave my arm’ -- Gazette.Net







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On most Poolesville Days, Maggie Nightingale can be found around town, either working at the library book sale or helping staff the apple pie booth for Our Lady of the Presentation Catholic Church.

But this year, Nightingale will be found waving from the back of a car as grand marshal during the parade that’s part of the town’s annual celebration, scheduled for Sept. 21.

Nightingale, 76, said it was a “total surprise” when the event’s organizers asked her to be grand marshal.

“I asked them, because I thought they got the wrong person,” she said.

Nightingale quickly got involved in the community after moving there in 1977. She said she wanted to know her young daughter’s friends and their families.

While the town has gotten bigger and more diverse over the years, it still remains a small, caring community where people look out for each other and are willing to get involved, Nightingale said.

One of Nightingale’s activities was helping the Poolesville Library relocate to its current storefront location on Fisher Avenue in 1991.

The library originally was in Poolesville High School and open only Saturdays and after school hours, she said.

Nightingale took two introductory lobbying courses, one through the League of Women Voters and the other through the Montgomery County Council, to learn how to advocate for her causes.

Then she bought a royal blue suit and began showing up at as many political functions as she could, until the politicians all knew who she was.

Nightingale said the library was important to her family because her daughter loved to read, and they never would have been able to afford all the books she wanted.

She said the library’s current location has been well used by residents.

Along with the parade, Poolesville Day also is scheduled to include booths and vendors, a 5K run, a classic car, truck and motorcycle show, and performances by the Fabulous Mary Redmond Band and Kenny Ray Horton.

Despite her initial surprise at being chosen, Nightingale said she’s looking forward to serving as grand marshal.

“I’ll just smile and wave my arm,” she said.