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David Whisenant to replace Ketner as grand marshal at parade

David Whisenant, Salisbury native and reporter with WBTV in Charlotte, will be grand marshal for the 2014 Holiday Caravan Parade. Whisenant accepted the honor after Food Lion co-founder Ralph Ketner had to step down as this year’s grand marshal.

“David was born and raised in Salisbury and continues to do much to represent this area with class and professionalism,” said Wesley Perry, chairman of the Holiday Caravan board of directors. “All who know him think highly of David, and we feel it’s time to honor him.”

Whisenant graduated from Appalachian State University in Boone. He was an announcer and sales representative for WSTP/WRDX radio and football color announcer for the Appalachian Sports Network for Appalachian State University Mountaineer football.

He became a reporter and anchor for WBTV in 1992 and has led the Salisbury bureau since then. His awards and recognitions include key to the city of Salisbury for the Hurricane Katrina relief partnership project and numerous professional awards from the Radio Television News Directors Association and National Motorsports Press Association.

Along with WBTV, Whisenant’s work has been featured on CBS News, CNN, the Weather Channel, Investigation Discovery and the UK Daily Mail.

“There are a lot of other folks in our community who are more deserving, but I am excited to accept this honor,” Whisenant said. “I’ve been to nearly every Holiday Caravan parade that has taken place during my lifetime, and to lead it off is really special.”

Whisenant is married to Jtan and they have one son, Kyle, and daughter-in-lawlaw Anna. David and Jtan welcomed their first grandchild, Ava, 15 months ago.

Whisenant is active in his church, First Baptist of Salisbury, and an avid fan of the Washington Redskins and of all things British.

Over the years, Whisenant has supported and volunteered for the United Way, Rowan Helping Ministries, the Salvation Army Advisory Board, the Rowan Literacy Council, Communities In Schools, Salisbury-Rowan Crime Stoppers, the Rowan County Emergency Planning Committee, Cooperative Christian Ministries, the Cabarrus Literacy Council, ARC of Cabarrus and Rowan, and Cabarrus Arts Council.

Part of the celebration this year is a new initiative with the parade, a community food drive along the parade route, to support the Food Lion Feeds initiative to support hunger relief in the markets it serves.

Applications for professional floats, other entries and reserved seating are now being accepted at www.holidaycaravanparade.com.

The 2014 Holiday Caravan Parade will be held Wednesday, Nov. 26, with a start time in Spencer of 2 p.m. and Salisbury of 3 p.m.

The parade is an all-volunteer production coordinated through a nonprofit organization, led by a volunteer board of directors.

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