John and Margo Daniel were the only people surprised to learn that they were going to be the 2022 Frontier Days Parade grand marshals.
Their daughter, Mary Kay Daniel, expertly kept the secret for weeks and made sure her parents were in their Daniel Pharmacy store to be presented with their parade marshal Stetson hats on Thursday afternoon.
“You’re kidding!” was Margo Daniel’s response when Terry Cook, chairman and organizer of the Frontier Days Celebration, presented the couple with the Stetsons.
“You’ve been in business here for 50-some years, and you’ve done a lot for the community,” Cook said. “You’re very giving to the community, so we thought it was your time to be our parade marshals.”
Cook said that throughout the year, he receives names of different individuals and couples to be parade marshal candidates. He then takes those names to the celebration committee, who votes on which candidate or candidates to choose.
Cook said he thinks one of the big factors that led to the committee choosing the Daniels is their longstanding history in the Fort Dodge community.
“They have a stable business that has been in town over 50-plus years, and they’re always giving back to the community,” Cook said.
“This is a big surprise,” John Daniel said of the announcement. “We don’t do anything to be really noticed about it, we just try to be helpful and part of the community.”
He said being recognized was special.
“We’re honoured,” Margo Daniel said with a tear in her eye. “I love the community of Fort Dodge.”
Daniel Pharmacy was opened at the corner of Central Avenue and 12th Street in 1963 by John Daniel’s father, also named John Daniel.
“I was born here and I always thought it was the best place in the world,” John Daniel said of his hometown. “It’s a nice place to live, it’s friendly, and especially now the leadership in Fort Dodge has really gone out of their way to make Fort Dodge as modern and up-to-date as any community.”
John and Margo married in 1973, and Margo became a vital part of the day-to-day operations at Daniel Pharmacy, working alongside her pharmacist husband. Eventually, their three children, John III, Mary Kay and Mark, joined them at the store.
The 2022 Frontier Days Celebration will be June 3-5. The parade is on the morning of June 4. As grand marshals, John and Margo Daniel will lead the parade down Central Avenue.
Now they just have to figure out who’s going to run the store while they’re in the parade.