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Get to Know the Key Biscayne 4th of July Parade’s Grand Marshal

 Your 2022 Key Biscayne Grand Marshal – Sally Brody

If you attended the annual Key Biscayne 4th of July Parade today, you would have seen Mrs. Sally Brody leading the procession as the 63rd Grand Marshal. In fact, this is her first parade as Grand Marshal after living more than 50 years on our island paradise. From living in a house on the island to living on a sailboat docked in island waters, Sally has experienced and enjoyed all the island has to offer.

However, this may not be your first time seeing her. As an avid volunteer around the island, you may have come across her this past Saturday while she was volunteering at the lighthouse in Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park. You may have also encountered Sally, lending a hand during the Bob Kemper Memorial Key Biscayne Annual Rib Off at the Key Biscayne Yacht Club, the Eileen McCaughan Memorial Pasta Dinner, or even the Dancing in the Moonlight Park Fundraiser at Cape Florida. Finally, for the Key Rats, you may have had her as your teacher, as she spent 30 years as a local educator in Greater Miami and on Key Biscayne.

The Key Biscayne Community Foundation sat with Sally before the parade to discuss what it means to her to be the Grand Marshal of the 63rd Annual 4th of July Parade?

“It’s quite an honor to be selected for this year’s parade Grand Marshal. I’ve always been very impressed with the past Grand Marshals, so I have big shoes to fill. The parade is one of the longest-standing traditions on Key Biscayne. To be Grand Marshal is to make history.”

Sally, what brought you to Key Biscayne?

“Marrying Cliff was the main reason I came to Key Biscayne in 1971… He helped me fall in love with the island where he grew up. Cliff was smart, dedicated to the island, and an effective leader for the betterment of our community. He will ride with me! He always rides with me.”

Sally, how has the 4th of July Parade changed since the first one you attended fifty years ago?

“The parade was much smaller and made up of many more homemade floats. Residents made up the majority of the parade lineup and, many times, the majority of the audience. Now it’s a regional affair that attracts hundreds from Miami Dade and beyond. 

It was a community-oriented event. I fondly remember the dozens of decorated bikes participating in the parade, with parents and kids working together the weeks before to create the decorations for their floats and then riding together through the streets of Key Biscayne. This was and has always been one of the most highly anticipated events on the island.”

What is your fondest memory of the Key Biscayne 4th of July Parade?

“I shall tell you many of my fondest memories. 

Dr. Handwerker was a hoot dressed up as Uncle Sam. He always brought a smile to the parade-goers. 

More recently, one of the most fun I had at the parade was riding on the A.S.K. Club’s float. Seniors peddling the bike float was a great idea for a float and an outstanding exercise for the group. I was slightly worn out after the event, but nonetheless, it was fun doing it with such great friends. 

The entertainment groups have always been the life of the parade, ever so lively and musical. The Junkanoos playing fantastic Caribbean music, school marching bands striding along, sounding off their bass drums and brass sections. It’s more like a New Orleans’ Mardi Gras procession. 

The Chowder Chompers band remains a fond memory. This band was made up of locals playing patriotic music. And let’s not forget the KB parade committee float always having a great band on board their float… My kids, Joel and Sheri, decorating the KB Yacht Club float as children… And, of course, what I remember most is the camaraderie. The chance to spend time with family, friends, and neighbors to celebrate the peak of summer on America’s Independence Day. An all-day party for all!”

Thanks, Sally! We couldn’t have chosen a better Grand Marshal for the 63rd Annual Key Biscayne 4th of July Parade. See you all next year!


For more information on the Key Biscayne 4th of July Parade, click here.

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