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By ROBERT VILLANUEVA email@example.com CECILIA — Irene Dodson had some preparations for Cecilia Days yet to go the week before festivities began. She had plans to make blackberry jam and a cake for auction. “Cecilia Days are a lot of work,” she said. Perhaps her involvement in the community, which holds its annual celebration Friday and Saturday, was part of the reason she was named grand marshal for Saturday’s parade. “I felt very honored, naturally,” Dodson said of finding out a couple of months ago. Dodson was a member of the Cecilia Community Ruritan Club for 15 years and its secretary for 11 years. The club, which sponsors Cecilia Days, is a civic group that supports community projects and activities. “We just decided it was time she was honored,” Sue Hager, club president and Cecilia Days chairman, said. The Cecilia Community Ruritan Club board of directors “throws names out” and from those, selects who will be the grand marshal, Hager said. “Irene has been a member of the Ruritan Club since women were voted in,” Hager said. That was in 1992. Last December, Dodson retired as secretary from the club. “She’s been an excellent worker,” Hager said. Being grand marshal won’t require any extra responsibilities for Dodson. “It’s not much more than riding at the head of the parade, but everybody gets real excited about it,” Hager said. But the prominence of the position surprised Dodson, who didn’t realize where her place in the parade would be. “She’ll be right up front, right behind the color guard,” Greg Lowe, parade chairman, said. While she expressed her excitement about the honor, Dodson said she wasn’t nervous. Her husband, Floyd, got the honor of being grand marshal in 1995, she said. “It’s just a great day of festivities,” Dodson said. Cecilia Days has been an annual event in the central Hardin County town for 39 years. This year’s two-day celebration includes a fish dinner, a magic show, a talent show, fireworks and a barbecue chicken dinner that has “been famous for many years,” Dodson said. But Dodson’s favorite thing about Cecilia Days lends itself to a bit of irony. “I guess, really, I enjoy watching the parades, making pictures,” she said. Now, as the grand marshal, Dodson will be in the photos. She said she’d ask relatives to take photos this year. If they can’t do it, she knows others will be there taking photos, she said. But first, Dodson is concentrating on her homemade contributions to the celebration. Her own part in the festivities is an honor she seems to take with a bit of modesty. “I’m very happy that they thought well enough about me to choose me,” she said. Robert Villanueva can be reached at (270) 505-1743.