ALBUQUERQUE—August 30, 2010—Veteran ABC newsman and New Mexico resident Sam Donaldson, who has a ranch in Hondo, NM, will be the Grand Marshal for the 2010 New Mexico State Fair parade, EXPO New Mexico officials announced today.

Donaldson, invited by State Fair Commission Chairman, David “Hossie” Sanchez, to be the parade’s Grand Marshal, said “I am both honored and pleased to say ‘yes’ to David Sanchez’s invitation. As a news reporter, I’ve been around the world eight times, watched history being made, reported on events both wonderful and awful but the honor of being Grand Marshal in the New Mexico State Fair Parade is one of the most satisfying moments of recent years.”

The annual parade, with 226 entries – the most in recent memory – and 4,324 participants, takes place Saturday, September 11, leaving the State Fairgrounds at 8:45 a.m. and marching east on Central Avenue for a little over 2 miles. Parade Chairman is Mark Warrick of the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Posse; uniformed posse members are on duty in each staging area as well as at various locations along the parade route to insure the smooth and orderly progression of the set-up and of the parade itself.

Among the participants: 16 political entries; 13 car clubs with a total of 120 vehicles; 16 representatives of law enforcement; pueblo and tribal bands, 14 winners of beauty contests or pageants; a new corporate entry – Chick Filet; the Farmington High School marching band – the band coming from the furthest distance; the New Mexico Submarine Veterans with miniature models of the USS Bullhead and the USS Albuquerque; first time entry New Mexico Blood Services; and State Fair mascots Phil and Phyllis plus the mascots representing the overall theme of the parade and the State Fair – “Everyday Is A Holiday!” – Abe Lincoln, the St. Patrick’s Day leprechaun, the Easter Bunny, Uncle Sam, the Halloween pumpkin, the Thanksgiving turkey, and Santa Claus. Reflecting on the number of entries in this year’s parade – making it longer – Larry Trujillo, parade staff director, commented: “We’ll just have to roll a little bit faster…march to the beat of a faster drum!” Judging the entries will be Albuquerque City Councillor Rey Garduno; Sally Adams, community leader and president of Clear Channel Outdoor; and Al Lucero, owner of Maria’s Restaurant in Santa Fe and chairman of the New Mexico Tourism Commission. Helping announce the parade is radio station group American General Media.

In accepting the Grand Marshal-ship, Donaldson further stated: “Is there someplace more beautiful than New Mexico? I suppose so but the catch is you have to die in order to go there. When outlanders ask me what’s so great about my native state New Mexico I tell them three things: the landscape from desert to mountains, the people with several great cultures living and working together, and the opportunity to be who you want to be and live the way you want to live. Really, it doesn’t get any better than that. New Mexico is, of course, ‘The Land of Enchantment’ but now, for me, my native state is a true refuge from the hurly-burly of the life I’ve lived for fifty years as a news reporter. I can heartily attest to the truth of Willa Cather’s famous observation when she wrote in Death Comes for the Archbishop –‘ In New Mexico he always awoke a young man.’”

For more information about parade guidelines, categories, awards, etc., please visit