Deltona chooses two men with UCF footbal program as its grand marshalls for Saturday's inaugural Christmas parade

Manny MesseguerWillie MitchellManny Messeguer and linebacker Willie Mitchell of the University of Central Football program are grand marshall's for Deltona's first-ever Christmas parade.

DELTONA -- The city has chosen two members of the University of Central Florida Football program as grand marshalls for the inaugural Deltona Christmas Parade which begins at 6 p.m. Saturday on Providence Boulevard.

Manny Messeguer, special assistant to UCF football coach George O’Leary, and UCF linebacker Willie Mitchell, will ride in the parade as grand marshalls.

Messeguer, who served the U.S. Air Forces as a pilot during the Vietnam era, became a fan of the UCF football program in the late 1970s. He spent 18 years as general manager and vice president of Tropical Ford Inc., one of the largest Ford dealerships in Orlando. He became one of the leading donors to the UCF Football program and also served the program as a radio networks sideline reporter and as personal pilot to former head coach Gene McDowell.

Recently Messeguer was inducted into the UCF Athletics Hall of Fame as an “Honorary Letterman: For his dedication to commitment and service to the UCF Athletics Program.”

Mitchell, was an outstanding four-sport athlete at Pine Ridge High School, Deltona, before accepting a football scholarship to join the UCF Golden Knights. As a Pine Ridge senior, he was named to the “Orlando Sentinel All-Central Florida Defensive Football Team.”

Mitchell is looking forward to his sophomore season where he is expected to be a major contributor to the Knights’ defense.

John Hernandez and Barbara Willey are some of “Deltona’s Founding Fathers” and worked with a group of residents who were responsible for incorporating Deltona. Hernandez is one of Deltona’s first real estate agents, selling homes for the Mackle Brothers. Both have served the Deltona Civic Association throughout the years and have worked hard on the Deltona Day Parade for the past 18 years. They have shared their advice and parade expertise with the committee of City staff who are working on the city's inaugural Christmas parade.

Parade road closings

At 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Providence Boulevard, from Tivoli Drive to Fort Smith Boulevard, will be closed to motorists to allow for parade staging. During the parade staging time, motorists will not be permitted access to businesses from Providence Boulevard between Tivoli and Fort Smith via Providence. And Providence Boulevard along the parade route from Fort Smith Boulevard to Eustace Avenue will be closed at approximately 5:30 p.m. and will remain closed for the duration of the parade which will be between 2-3 hours.

Once the parade route is closed, businesses along with residential streets that only have an outlet to Providence will be inaccessible.

Christmas concert

There will be a free Christmas Concert, an “Old Fashioned Christmas,” and photos with Santa following the parade in the Courtyard at City Hall, 2345 Providence Blvd.

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Wendel Bradford

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Short Bio

Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com since 2008. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed close to a hundred award-winning byline stories nearly evenly split in print and digital platforms. Frederick earned his Master of Arts in New Media Journalism with academic honors from Full Sail University in Winter Park in February 2019. He was a metro reporter with the Daytona Beach News-Journal for nearly a decade and then served as a city editor for the Taunton Daily Gazette in Taunton, Mass, while maintaining a residence in Central Florida. Prior to moving to Florida, Frederick was a metro reporter for the Rockland Journal-News in West Nyack, NY, for seven years. Headline Surfer was named the Sunshine State's top internet news site by the Florida Press Club in 2018.