EDMONDS, Wash. — Edmonds held the traditional Fourth of July parade with fire trucks, flags and family, but there was one slightly nontraditional addition this year: The grand marshal of the holiday parade was a first for the city.
"I think I'm the first one under 40 to be the grand marshal," said Shubert Ho with a smile.
At just 36 years old, Ho is believed to be the youngest grand marshal in the city's 129-year history. Edmonds, along the shores of Puget Sound, is known more for its retirees than its youth.
"It just means a lot," said Ho, who is the son of Taiwanese immigrants. "It's a great honor."
He owns three restaurants in town, one of which, Bar Dojo, recently found itself in on the front burner. A fire in an adjacent shed came dangerously close to the restaurant, but quick working firefighters saved the day.
"The flames were 50 feet high," recalled Ho. "I saw the smoke driving up the street and thought for sure the building was going down."
Ho said there was a little bit of smoke damage, but the business only lost one day of closure.
To show his gratitude, Ho decided to help those same fire fighters help others in the community.
He started selling t-shirts that benefit the South County Firefighters Foundation, which provides financial assistance to fire victims. Much of the funding for the foundation comes from the firefighters themselves.
"They're already philanthropic themselves," said Ho. "They give so much to the community. We should do our best to donate as well."