What's this? A news release in August for Hot Springs' St. Patrick's Day Parade, the world's shortest?
Then I saw why the early publicity. Bo Derek will be the celebrity grand marshal.
HOT SPRINGS NATIONAL PARK, Arkansas — Number Seven will have a Perfect “10” in ’10.
Yes, Bo Derek will be the celebrity grand marshal for the First Ever Seventh Annual World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade at 6 p.m. on March 17 in downtown Hot Springs.
“It’s great that our parade’s first female grand marshal will be a person who was voted as recently as 2007 as One of the Most Beautiful People on Earth,” said Steve Arrison, CEO of the Hot Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau and one of the originators/organizers of the zany parade. “The World’s Largest Leprechaun is so excited he’s getting his hair styled in beaded cornrows.”
Derek gained worldwide fame in 1979 as the perfect fantasy woman in “10,” Blake Edwards’ film comedy starring the late Dudley Moore. The film’s iconic scene was of Derek, her hair in then-unusual beaded cornrows, running in slow motion on the beach.
“Our parade was voted this month as one of the Top 20 Events in the Southeast by the Southeast Tourism Society in Atlanta,” Arrison said. “The addition of Bo Derek can only clinch our claim to that honor.
“We’ve had male grand marshals until now: George (Norm) Wendt from ‘Cheers,’ comedian Pauley Shore, TV star Mario Lopez, John (Cliffie) Ratzenberger from ‘Cheers’ and Mike Rowe from ‘Dirty Jobs.’ Bo will be perfect – literally – as our first female marshal.”
“Ms. Derek is a member of the California Horse Racing Board, which is the state’s equivalent of Arkansas’ Racing Commission,” Arrison said, “which makes it even greater that her visit to Hot Springs will coincide with the 2010 Oaklawn live-racing season. We’re hoping she can make time to visit Oaklawn while she’s here. She is widely known for her love of horseback riding and for her love of horses in general.”
The World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade has gained worldwide fame since its inception and was declared by Smithsonian Magazine this year as “The Quirkiest St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Earth.” The entirely tongue-in-cheek event attracted 20,000 fans to 98-foot-long Bridge Street in 2009, and is expected to bring even more visitors in 2010, Arrison said.
Born Mary Cathleen Collins on November 20, 1956, and known as Cathy, she grew up in Southern California, the horse-crazy oldest daughter of four children. Her father was a public relations executive for Hobie Cat sailboats and her mother was a hairstylist and makeup artist for a number of Hollywood figures. It was while her mother was working for Ann-Margret in Las Vegas that a theatrical agent approached Bo about pursuing a movie career.
It was at one of her initial auditions that the 16-year-old Bo met John Derek, the man 30 years her senior, with whom she would spend the next 25 years until his death in 1998.
While growing up, people often told Bo she should be a model. Being blonde, blue-eyed and straight featured is certainly a formula for pretty. Modeling didn't particularly interest Bo at first until she figured the money would help buy a new surfboard.
At 15 Bo got a modeling job in Hawaii where her dad was working with a boat company. She was a natural. She had years of experience being photographed playing with the new sailboat or dirt bike or whatever her father was advertising at the time.
Next came a TV commercial advertising a deodorant, a speaking part - three words.
In addition to the famous “10” in 1979, her movies include:
Wind On Water (1998)
Tommy Boy (1995)
Shattered Image (1994)
Sognado la California (1993)
Woman of Desire (1993)
Hot Chocolate (1992)
Ghosts Can't Do It. (1990)
Tarzan The Ape Man (1981)
Once Upon A Love (1981)
Change of Seasons (1980)
Information on entering a float, marching group, musical group, spoof group or other entry in the 2010 St. Patrick’s Day Parade is available by e-mailing Leysa Lowery at firstname.lastname@example.org.