Ian Pratt to Be Grand Marshall of Festival Parade

Chosen as this year's Grand Marshall for the Homecoming Festival parade is Ian Pratt. Pratt operates a successful car dealership and is an ardent supporter of youth activities in the community. (Photo by Lura Jackson)

By Lura Jackson

 

Every year, a Grand Marshall is chosen to head the parade of the International Homecoming Festival. While this year’s Grand Marshall, Ian Pratt, accepted the role with the original understanding that the parade would be an international affair, he agreed to continue to be Grand Marshall for the Calais-only parade in the event that the international portion does not transpire.

 Pratt came to this community 21 years ago, with the goal of having his own car dealership in the tradition of his father and grandfather. “I had ten used cars on a dirt lot,” Pratt said. Now he employs over 25 people and routinely sells cars to customers from all over Northern Maine. 

Being a successful business person is but one of the many reasons that Pratt was selected as Grand Marshall. When he first came to the Calais area, Pratt was among the founding figures in youth football on both sides of the border – a role he continues today as coach for the Silverados in St. Stephen. 

Youth sports in general are a particular passion for Pratt, who comes from Millinocket. “I'm used to being in satellite towns where youth sports are important and the whole town would come together around youth sports,” said Pratt. “Those kids are playing for nothing but the fact that they love the game and they want to win.” Pratt also loves to win, but he said that there’s a lot more to be learned from losing. “We learn how to overcome adversity and bounce back.”

In general, Pratt said that he is very proud and fond of the greater Calais community and the people of surrounding towns. “Washington County has a lot of issues, but community pride is not something that it lacks,” Pratt said. “This is an area that has a lot to be proud of, and they realize they’re a lot stronger together than they are apart.”