When Mark Sifferlin agreed to chair the 2021 Edina 4th of July Parade, he thought he was saying yes to creating a parade float for the Rotary Club of Edina. His wife broke the news that he had just been drafted into coordinating a community-wide event that attracts more than 20,000 attendees and boasts nearly 100 entrants.
“Thank goodness the crew is seasoned, and everyone steps in to make sure it happens,” Sifferlin says.
Sifferlin’s family—actually his whole neighborhood—attends every year, and the “old-fashioned, all-American parade” where the community comes together is one of his favorite Edina traditions.
If you’ve met Sifferlin, you know he’s an ideal cheerleader, bringing fun and positivity that makes organizing this community celebration a pleasure, despite the work it takes to pull it off.
It’s fitting that in his work life, Sifferlin is a senior vice president at Party City Holdings, Inc., and its subsidiary Anagram International—the largest foil balloon manufacturer in the world, headquartered in Eden Prairie. Focused on international trends and product development, Sifferlin is thinking of special events on a daily basis.
And for the past six months, he’s been working on this year’s parade. Each year in January, a team of volunteers begins booking entertainment acts, discussing new ideas and planning for sponsors and the registration of community groups. The parade team also organizes a veteran’s dinner, held annually the evening before the parade.
“When I first started, I had no idea about the depth of the activities surrounding the veterans in the parade,” Sifferlin says. “They are a main part of the parade.”
Sifferlin is returning for his second year as parade chair, looking forward to implementing some new ideas, including providing chalk so kids can draw on the edges of the street while they await their favorite entertainment act (or the candy!).