Newly retired Northern State University Athletic Director Bob Olson will serve as parade marshal for Saturday's Gypsy Day Parade.
The 97th annual Gypsy Day Parade starts at 9 a.m. on Main Street. Each year, distinguished guests are selected to lead the parade. This year, those distinguished guests will be Olson and his wife, Cheri.
Olson retired in May after a 37-year career at NSU that saw him fill the roles of student, athlete, professor, coach and administrator. He served the Wolves in the role of athletic director for the past 13 years, taking over the position in 1999 for the retired Jim Kretchman. Before that, he coached the NSU men's basketball team for 14 seasons, taking the Wolves to national prominence on both the NAIA and NCAA Division II levels.
An Aberdeen native, Olson attended Northern State from 1973-1977 and played collegiate basketball under the legendary coach Bob Wachs.
Olson was recognized as the recipient of the Kretchman Coaching Award by the NSU Foundation at the 2011 Gypsy Day celebration.
Earlier this week, close to 180 groups had signed up for the parade. Bart Carithers,cq NSU's director of student activities, expects the parade to total close to 200 entries by Saturday morning.
The entries include 18 bands — one college (NSU), one eighth grade group (Simmons and Holgate middle schools) and 16 high school units.
1. Aberdeen Exchange Club/Color Guard
2. NSU Marching Wolves
3. Parade Marshal
4. NSU President James Smith and Connie Ruhl-Smith
5. Gypsy Days queen and marshal
6. Gypsy Days Royalty Court/Thunder
7. Aberdeen Mayor Mike Levsen
8. Distinguished Alumni, Hall of Fame, Gold and Kretchman awards
9. NSU Alumni Association
10. Aberdeen ABATE
11. NSU Wolves Club/Wolves on Water
12. NSU No. 1 Fan, Nate/Coach Don Meyer
13. NSU's Outstanding Faculty of the Year