By Audrey Alfson
Special for the Argus
Tim Jergenson of rural Houston doesn’t seek the limelight. He’s the kind of guy who likes to fly under the radar and simply do what needs to be done. For almost 30 years, Tim has done just that, serving 28 years on the board of the Hoedown committee, 11 years with the Houston ambulance and 15 years as a volunteer fireman. Because of his dedication to making Houston a better place to live, Tim was chosen to be the parade marshal for this year’s Houston Hoedown parade.
“I kind of knew it was coming,” Tim replied when asked about the honor. “But what do you do. Everything I’ve been involved in is a cooperative effort – you hate to be singled out.”
Tim Jergenson grew up on his family’s farm in Mound Prairie. After he graduated from Houston High School he moved to Minneapolis for a few years to attend school, only to return in the late 1970s because he liked being part of the farming community. He and Sherry, his wife of 32 years, have two grown daughters and two grandsons.
Tim was still living in the Cities when Houston held their first city celebration in 1974 to honor Houston’s centennial charter, but he remembers it well. “I came down for a visit on the weekend,” he said, “and they had this carnival thing set up and there were all these people. I thought, ‘What happened to the quiet town?’”
He didn’t made it the ten miles to the family farm and instead stayed with his sister in town. “I only saw my dad on Sunday before I left, and that’s because he was tending bar,” he added with a smile.
That sense of reunion, community, and fun established at the very first celebration has remained throughout the various incarnations of Hoedown over the past 28 years. With few exceptions, Jergenson has been part of them all. Some of his most memorable Hoedowns included the year they featured the Budweiser Clydesdales, and when the American Legion hosted the traveling Vietnam Wall display at Trailhead Park.
As with any annual celebration, Houston Hoedown has changed over the years, but the hard work involved in bringing it all together seems to stay the same. Jergenson doesn’t seem to mind. “It’s gratifying when you put in all that work…and then you’re standing there seeing thousands of people having a good time.”
Because of his years of service to Houston and the Hoedown celebration, it’s clear why Tim Jergenson was chosen as parade marshal. For him, it’s simple, saying, “I just like to be part of something that’s helping people.”
Houston Hoedown takes place Friday, July 27 through Sunday, July 29. The Grande Parade starts at noon.