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Martinazzi to lead Crawfish Festival Parade


Local historian and lifelong resident will serve as grand marshall

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Loyce Martinazzi (right) was named grand marshal of the Tualatin Crawfish Festival ParadeIt’s fair to say the grand marshal of this year’s Tualatin Crawfish Festival is a somewhat reluctant figurehead.

But who better to lead what could be the final year of the festival, than Loyce Martinazzi, a prolific local historian with family roots going back several generations in the region?

Martinazzi literally wrote the book on Tualatin. With co-author Karen Lafky Nygaard, she chronicled Tualatin’s origin story, tracing the narrative back to the Oregon Trail era and compiling the stories of the city’s founding families, whose names can be found scattered around Tualatin on street signs, in “Tualatin...from the Beginning.”

And Martinazzi has done her part to mark the city’s 100-year anniversary celebration with pomp and spectacle: Last February, she teamed up with Sandra Lafky Carlson to write and direct 'You Are There! A Celebration of the City of Tualatin's Centennial Year.' The musical revue cast a colorful array of Tualatin personalities — even City Manager Sherilyn Lombos — to re-enact the boozy tale of how Tualatin became an incorporated city. Martinazzi described the production as a “docu-drama.”

In February, Martinazzi visited third-graders at Tualatin Elementary School to answer questions about the city’s early days, and to check out a timeline students created from events they studied in her book. For Martinazzi, the project offered newer-comers a chance to feel connected to their homes and to establish roots in Tualatin.

In 1986, she was one of the longtime residents to found the Tualatin Historical Society, and currently serves as president on the board of the Winona Grange, having spearheaded preservation efforts there.

For those reasons, the Tualatin Chamber of Commerce decided Martinazzi embodied the “Spirit of Tualatin,” and presented her with an award stating as much earlier this year. The yearly Spirit of Tualatin award designates the grand marshal each year.

Martinazzi was recognized for her monthly column about the city, providing “accurate local history and photographs that give the people of Tualatin a real sense of belonging and community,” according to the chamber.

But this year’s grand marshal is modest, and fears the city she loves might become a bit tired of seeing her in the spotlight.

“I’m just a farm girl,” Martinazzi insists.

So who does Martinazzi think is more deserving of the honor?

Childhood friend Yvonne Addington, whose focus on area history goes back even further than Martinazzi’s. Addington is responsible for bringing the iconic mastodon display to the Tualatin Public Library, and she continues to act as a driving force in placing the city on the ice age tourism map.

“She was city manager during the time that Tualatin turned from just a bump in the road to a real city,” Martinazzi said. “She has done great things in Tualatin. She deserves the award.”

This year’s Crawfish Parade will take place Saturday, Aug. 10, at 10 a.m. For more information, visit tualatincrawfishfestival.com.