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2022 Grand Marshal: Honoring Miguel Maldonado

May His Community Spirit Live On

There simply aren’t enough ways to honor a man like Miguel Maldonado, who gave his all for community, asked for nothing in return except honesty and kindness, who passed from this plane in February. For that giant of a man who loved and was loved by so many, the Yosemite Chamber and the 49er Festival Committee members were unanimous in choosing Miguel Maldonado to honor posthumously as our 2022 Grand Marshal.

Miguel loved a parade. And a flyover. And a barbecue at the PML Stables. And a Pine Cone Performers Concert, and he was there to photograph or video them all. He founded vital organizations like Yosemite Gateway Partners and served on the boards of countless others, including the Yosemite | Highway 120 Chamber of Commerce. He nurtured new businesses like Share Fitness and new business owners like Debbie Woodbury who purchased the Yosemite Highway Herald (now Yosemite Express) from Miguel. He had a deep respect for women and loved children, “creatures” who he enjoyed for their honesty and zest for life.

According to the Yosemite Gateway Partners’ website, where Miguel was a founding member and still active on the board when he passed:

“At age 14, Miguel was given the opportunity to be an intern in the Patronato de Carnaval (Mardi Gras commission), sponsored by the municipality in his hometown, Mazatlán, Mexico. Mardi Gras festivities brought several thousand people into town. The traditional celebrations took 4-5 days, ending on Ash Wednesday every year.

“He was accepted as an ex-officio member of the Patronato’s ad-hoc social group: Club Jacarandas. The club aims were to create opportunities for low-income and at-risk youth. After 4-years of internship he was appointed