Grand Marshal Information
Saturday, December 1, 2018 at 10 a.m.
Rain or Shine

The 2018 Grand Marshal will be announced in October. For more information about our 2017 Grand Marshals, please continue reading. If you have a Grand Marshal recommendation or would like to be considered as a Grand Marshal in the parade, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  

The Dominion Energy Christmas Parade is excited to welcome two phenomenal women as the 2017 grand marshals: Margot Lee Shetterly, author of Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Who Helped Win the Space Race, and Dr. Christine Darden, the retired NASA mathematician, data analyst and aeronautical engineer featured in the book. Hidden Figures is a #1 New York Times bestseller and award-winning movie about three African-American female NASA mathematicians essential to the success of early spaceflight. 

This year’s parade theme is “Christmas Around the World,” honoring NASA Langley Research Center’s 100th anniversary and the remarkable aerospace advancements and technological breakthroughs featured in Hidden Figures.

Margot Lee ShetterlyAbout Margot Lee Shetterly
Margot Lee Shetterly is a writer, researcher, entrepreneur, and the author of Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Who Helped Win the Space Race. It has been published in 16 international editions, including an English-language UK edition and 15 other languages.

A 2014 Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellow and Virginia Foundation for the Humanities grantee, Ms. Shetterly is the founder of The Human Computer Project, an endeavor that is recovering the names and accomplishments of all of the women who worked as computers, mathematicians, scientists and engineers at the NACA and NASA from the 1930s through the 1980s. She is a native of Hampton, Virginia, where she knew many of the women behind the history in Hidden Figures. She currently lives in Charlottesville and is a graduate of the University of Virginia. For more information, visit

Christine Darden by Keith CephusAbout Dr. Christine Darden
Dr. Christine Darden joined NASA in the late 1960s as a data analyst at Langley Research Center in Virginia, working as part of a pool of “human computers” who wrote complex programs and crunched numbers for engineers. Over the span of her 40-year career at NASA, Dr. Darden contributed to different divisions around High Speed technology, served as Deputy Manager of the TU-144 (the high speed Russian supersonic aircraft), and led the "Experiments Program" and research in Air Traffic Management. Dr. Darden also served on many private government projects, and authored over 50 publications on wing design, flap design, and sonic boom prediction and minimization. 

NASA awarded Dr. Darden the Certificate of Outstanding Performance 10 times between 1973 and 2003. Dr. Darden is a graduate of Hampton Institute, Virginia State University, and George Washington University. For more information about Dr. Darden, visit


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