Fallen Hotshots' families to lead Fiesta Bowl parade

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Fallen Granite Mountain Hotshots in Arizona (Source: CBS 5 News) Fallen Granite Mountain Hotshots in Arizona (Source: CBS 5 News)
Fort McDowell Fiesta Bowl Parade in Phoenix. (Source: File/CBS 5 News) Fort McDowell Fiesta Bowl Parade in Phoenix. (Source: File/CBS 5 News)

Families of the 19 fallen Yarnell Hill firefighters will serve as Grand Marshals of the 43rd Annual Fort McDowell Fiesta Bowl Parade.

The parade will step off at 11 a.m. on Dec. 28 in central Phoenix.

"We are honored to have the Yarnell Hill families lead this year's Fiesta Bowl Parade," Fiesta Bowl Board Chairman Brian Hall said. "Their husbands, fathers, sons and brothers are Arizona heroes who will never be forgotten."

The fallen firefighters were members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, part of the Prescott Fire Department. They died on June 30 while battling the 2,000-acre Yarnell Hill fire that ignited south of Prescott.

The parade's annual theme, "Spirit of the Southwest," honors the essence of Arizona's breathtaking desert landscapes and unique cultural heritage, organizers said in a statement.

"It is events like this and people like you, Fiesta Bowl organization, which allow us to tell the stories and celebrate the lives of extraordinary men that sacrificed every day," the Granite Mountain Hotshots families said in a statement.

In the five months since the tragedy, many charities were formed to provide support for the firefighters' families. People interested in making a donation can do so here.

The Fiesta Bowl organization says it has been a tradition of theirs to honor and support police, fire and U.S. military service personnel.

In December 2001, the parade included New York City firefighters and police officers to salute their heroic efforts on 9/11. The organization also frequently donates bowl game tickets to active service personnel and firefighters. It has invited the Yarnell Hill families to attend the 25th Annual Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl on the night of the parade.  

"Thank you for not only recognizing the ultimate sacrifice that our brothers made, but thank you for recognizing the sacrifice it takes at home from our families," the Prescott Fire Department said in a statement.

The parade, presented by Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, is free to the public but reserved seating is available for $25 through the Fiesta Bowl Ticket Office at 480-350-0911 pr by visiting www.fiestabowl.org

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