Manti names Christmas light parade grand marshals
MANTI—Manti City has named three grand marshals for its annual Christmas light parade November 25, and it’s going to be a family affair. The honored participants will be Carla and Bill Mickelson and May Peterson (Bill Mickelson’s sister).
All three have spent a significant portion of their lives in Manti, and each one has become a pillar of the community. As they have raised families in Sanpete, they have found ways to serve and become involved.
Carla Mickelson has contributed to education in the area by working as a substitute teacher for many years and spending more than two years teaching reading at the Central Utah Correctional Facility in Gunnison.
“I taught the inmates how to read, those that didn’t know, and for those that did know, we practiced reading,” Carla Mickelson said. “That was really interesting.”
She said she is looking forward to riding the grand marshal float. “I think it’s a wonderful opportunity, and I’ll be glad to do it.”
Bill Mickelson worked for Manti City for more than 30 years before retiring. He spent much of that time as the city administrator.
After graduating from Manti High School, attending Snow College and Utah State University and serving in the Army National Guard for eight years, he eventually returned to Manti and started working for the city.
“It’s really been fun,” he said. “Great community, great people. They tolerated me. That made it worthwhile.”
Former mayor Barbara Wintch said Bill Mickelson worked to help Manti be fiscally responsible. And, she said, he served the people of the town.
“Bill (Mickelson) always had the interest of Manti at heart,” Wintch said. “He cared about what happened in the community. Always.”
Bill Mickelson’s older sister May Peterson has become a part of Manti’s history much like her brother and sister-in-law have. She was the first female mayor of Manti City, serving from 1986 to 1990. Of her time as mayor, Peterson modestly acknowledged, “We accomplished a few things.”
Peterson was involved in electrical projects and moving to a new City Hall. Wintch said she made a big difference in helping the city save money and avoid debt.
“She wanted the best for Manti,” Wintch said.
Peterson was born in Manti but lived in northern Utah for much of her childhood. After attending Brigham Young University and working at Geneva Steel during World War II, she came back to Manti and has been there since. Her family has lived in the community for many years.
“I had ancestors on both lines and my parents who were Manti people, so it’s just a very comfortable situation around friends and family,” she said.
Peterson and the Mickelsons will ride in the Christmas lig