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American Girl Doll and Richmond EMT to serve as grand marshal of Dominion Energy Christmas Parade

Like most other Richmond traditions, the event will be virtual this year.

RVAHub Staff

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April O’Quinn, Richmond native and Richmond Ambulance Authority EMT turned American Girl Doll, will serve as the official Grand Marshal for the 37th Annual Dominion Energy Christmas Parade. The Christmas Parade will be a televised-only event exclusively on WTVR CBS6 on Saturday, Dec. 5 from 10 a.m. to noon and rebroadcast on Christmas Day.

“April O’Quinn has such an inspiring story and embodies what it means to be a true hero as a frontline worker,” said Parade Director Beth Karrer. “We are so grateful to April and all of the Richmond Ambulance Authority crew for their work in the Richmond community.”

April O’Quinn was one of five national winners of the American Girl “Heroes With Heart” contest earlier this year. The company, which makes the popular American Girl Dolls, held the contest to honor frontline workers during the time of COVID-19.

Lacey O’Quinn, of Texas, nominated her aunt, telling American Girl about April’s fearless willingness to put her health on the line to serve others. April contracted COVID-19 back in March and had to take more than a month off from work. As a grand prize, the winners have since received a custom doll made in their likeness, with a spotlight feature on the American Girl website and an American Girl gift card.

“We at the Richmond Ambulance Authority are so excited for April and her niece Lacey. We’re thankful American Girl held a contest to recognize our frontline heroes and are thrilled to have one of our employees represent EMS,” said RAA CEO Chip Decker.

The Christmas Parade broadcast will include all-new performances from favorite local and regional entertainment groups, community stories, and a special competition showcasing homemade float entries. The broadcast will also feature “best of” clips from over the years including floats, balloons, and marching bands. Photos of the Christmas Parade and can be found here.

As a way to give families and kids an opportunity to actively participate in this year’s online experience, the Christmas Parade is excited to kick off its first-ever Chick-fil-A Family Float Building Contest! Kids of all ages are encouraged to build a miniature float and enter the contest for a chance to to be featured in the Christmas Parade Special and win prizes, thanks to Chick-fil-A Willow Lawn. For float guidelines and submission details, click here.

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