MARYSVILLE – You can’t argue with the wisdom in a fortune cookie.
Marysville City Councilman and lifelong resident Steve Muller was on a busy schedule when reached by Strawberry Festival officials about helping judge entrants in the grand parade.
He said “yes,” but their invitation was really just a ruse to make sure he would be in town June 17, because what they really wanted from him was to agree to serve as grand marshal in this year’s parade.
An hour after they asked, a humbled Muller, the Muller Financial investment advisor, was with a client eating lunch at a Chinese restaurant. In a stroke of serendipity, he broke open his fortune cookie. The fortune read: “It’s your turn to be treated like royalty. Take some time to enjoy.”
Muller was flabbergasted. “This only happens in the movies,” he said.
As foretold by the cookie, Muller said he would be honored to serve as grand marshal with his wife, Donna, by his side. The paper fortune will be framed, becoming “a nice piece of family history.”
The 11-year City Councilman and lifelong resident of Marysville and his wife will ride in a decked-out Model T down State Avenue at the parade starts at 5 p.m. Saturday, June 17.
Muller said the couple plans to make the most of the opportunity. Just for fun, they will don clothing a la the Kentucky Derby, with distinguished Derby-themed men’s wear, a Southern Belle spring dress and expressive hats and accessories that are synonymous with America’s greatest horse race at Churchill Downs.
Muller said he was honored to be chosen to preside over the parade.
“I care about my community, over the years doing whatever I can to make it a great place to live, so I think it’s an honor,” he said. “But I enjoy the parade and enjoy having fun so this is going to be a great thing. I’m proud, and grateful that they thought of me.”
Muller has participated in several town parades going back to his childhood years when he and his brother Tom decorated their bikes and rode them in the Kiddies Parade. Since then, his Little League teams have joined in the hoopla, first as a player then later as a coach. He has also pulled conductor duties driving the Marysville Rotary Train, and the historical society’s Model T on occasion.
The Strawberry Festival and parade is recognized regionally, a traditional multi-day event that celebrates Marysville’s rich agricultural history with acres upon acres of strawberries.
Festival President Gail Frost said there were plenty of reasons Muller was tapped as grand marshal, such as his years on the City Council; Planning Commission, including a decade as chairman; Fire Board; Chamber of Commerce, YMCA and Marysville Noon Rotary leadership; and overseeing numerous school district bond and levy committees.
But what stands out most for Muller is his involvement with the Marysville Historical Society in getting the Marysville Museum built. It was a 20-year dream project that is now open at 6805 Armar Road next to Jennings Park, used not only to tell the town’s history, but also a great meeting place for local groups and community events.
“It’s a great asset to Marysville,” Muller said.
Muller said that it’s the community’s recognition of its history and a multitude of family activities like the Strawberry Festival that make him proud of his hometown.
“Marysville is a great place to grow up because of those family things. It was a great community then,” Muller said. “A lot of it was, you knew your neighbors back then, and your neighbors knew you. You looked out for each other.”
Muller and his wife have two grown sons.