Elmer Larsen named Autumn Leaf Grand Marshall

A veteran member of Leavenworth government and a well known figure amongst Leavenworth locals – Elmer Larsen has been chosen as this year’s Autumn Leaf Festival’s Grand Marshal for the parade. It’s only fitting that an established and familiar member of the community would get this position in a festival that embraces, encourages and engages community spirit.

Elmer’s personal history is intertwined with various impressive platforms and experiences he was actively involved in. He has experienced the neat feat of sailing around the world, seeing places such as Barbados, London, Bombay, New Zealand and Peru amongst many other stops along the map. However, Elmer said him and his wife Julie, who wed in 1971, returned back to the little Bavarian Village nestled in the mountains to raise his two children.

“I think this is a very special and unique area,” said Larsen. “You couldn’t find a more awe inspiring drive down looking at the Tumwater Canyon, it’s just unique in so many ways. We sacrifice a little of the inconvenience for a lot of benefits I think.”

Elmer has dabbled with Leavenworth politics since 1987 – as both a City Council member and as the Mayor – and remained steadily involved up until 2000 when he didn’t seek re-election of his position as Mayor due to time constraints with his job at the time. He later gravitated back to his City Council roots and was elected to his current position as a Council member in 2008. With obvious robust passion for  the Bavarian Village, he hasn’t wavered from giving back to his community.

Outside of being a constant in Leavenworth politics, he has paved an interesting career path throughout the years. From working as a software programmer to studying forestry to writing a book about his work, “Icon and Images” – Elmer is no stranger to hard work. He also may have been your child’s computer programming teacher at Leavenworth High School as well. His consistently impressive work ethic ended up with him being recognized for his work with the oceanographic work crew in the Outstanding Young Men of America when he was just a mere 26 years old.

When Elmer finds spare time to relax, he likes to remain busy with artwork, particularly carving. With a keen eye and meticulous detail, he enjoys carving Santa Clauses, each unique to commemorate a special moment – such as the birth of his grandchildren.

Now to add onto his lengthy list of accomplishments, he was titled the Grand Marshal for the Autumn Leaf Festival.

“I saw it (Autumn Leaf Festival) start, I was here in the 60’s when they were trying to get it off the ground – I’m well aware of the effort to get this town turned around and they were a big part of it, I just really saw the effort it took to get off the ground,” said Larsen. “Really think its a special event.”