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Farming couple named parade marshals

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Larry and Alyce Kinney are looking forward to bundling up for the 29th annual Farm Implement Parade Saturday night.

— He is a third-generation farmer, working the land his father settled at the end of East Alexander Road in the 1930s.

Saturday night, Larry and his wife Alyce Kinney will wave to the crowds along the parade route as the grand marshals of the 29th annual Sunnyside Lighted Farm Implement Parade.

“It was quite a surprise,” she Kinney said. Ever stoic, he said the honor is “awful nice.”

More so since the nomination for the honor was made by their daughter, Amy LaPierre, who described her parents as the “…perfect example of the local hard- working farmers that settled this valley.”

Larry and Alyce have been working his father’s place since he returned form the Vietnam War in the early 1970s.

“At first, I partnered with my dad and, in 1990, we took over the farm,” he said.

Kinney now shares farming duties with his son, Chris, and is training his 19-year-old granddaughter, Megan Kinney, to take on some of the farm duties in the future.

The 110-acre place is planted with grapes mostly. But Kinney leases some land to other growers. He also does some custom corn harvesting for Yakima Valley dairies.

“My folks grew a little bit of everything,” LaPierre said in her nomination form.

“We grew crops like hay, asparagus, grapes and corn,” she wrote.

“My mom, who retired after nearly 30 years from Bi-Mart, now helps dad on the farm full time,” LaPierre said.

Larry and Alyce are excited to be taking five of their seven grandchildren along for the ride in the parade marshal carrier that will follow the Lower Valley Color guard and veterans float in Saturday night’s parade. Organizers are expecting the best parade ever.

“I can’t wait to be waving at all my friends,” Alyce said.

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