By TAYLOR MURCHISON-GALLAGHER
As the summer days begin to wind down, the Mum Festival Committee continues to ramp up the energy in preparation for the 58th annual festival to be held Sept 19 to 22.
In keeping with festival tradition, a grand marshal has been named. But unlike in year’s past the marshal, Bristol native and writer for “The Simpsons” Mike Reiss, will marshal over the entire festival, not just the parade.
Festival officials said, in addition to leading the Mum Festival Parade on Sunday, Sept. 22, Reiss will be involved in special appearances throughout the weekend.
“Our theme this year is ‘Growing Together’,” said Mickey Goldwasser, co-chair of the festival marketing and planning committee. “The town that he grew up with has certainly grown. I think he would be the first to say that. We like to try to bring back people and he gets to come home. We’re excited that Mike’s coming home.”
Reiss graduated from Bristol Eastern High School in 1977, before making his way to Harvard University. While attending Harvard, he was the president of “The Harvard Lampoon” and became editor of “National Lampoon.”
“I am very honored to have been named this year’s festival grand marshal and to be included in the festivities as Bristol celebrates “Growing Together,” said Reiss in a release. “Bristol holds so many special memorial for me, including the Mum Festival. It’s always great to come back to Bristol and visit with old and new friends, and I’m really looking forward to participating.”
During his twenty-eight years of writing for the hit show, “The Simpsons,” Reiss won four Emmys and a Peabody Award.
The Bristol-native has also written 19 children’s books, including the best-seller “How Murray Saved Christmas,” and the award-winning “Late For School.” His most recently released book, “Springfield Confidential,” is a best-seller, chronicling his time writing for “The Simpsons.”
Reiss was also a contributing writing for more than two dozen animated films, including four installments of Dreamworks’ “Ice Age,” two installments of “Despicable Me,” “The Lorax,” “Rio,” “Kung Fu Panda 3,” and “The Simpsons Movie.”
Reiss joins good company with Bob Maxon who served as the marshal in 2018; Hometown Heroes Tim Gamache (2013), Tom Laporte (2012), Matthew and David Carello (2011), and Captain Philip E. Leary, the commanding officer of Company “C” in the Connecticut National Guard serving as the first Mum Festival Parade Marshal in 1962.
Comments? Email tmurchison@BristolObserver.com.