Kris Manning named 2020 Daniel Island Grand Marshal
The community has spoken and 2020 sounds like it will be a year filled with music and surprises with Kris Manning chosen as the new Daniel Island Grand Marshal.
Manning was in the running with fellow candidates Kathie Harvey and Tricia Peterson for the yearlong honorary position to celebrate and represent the community.
“To be included in the nominations with Kathie and Tricia, both respected community members, was a delightful surprise,” Manning said. “I’m brimming with joy and honored to be designated as the 2020 Daniel Island Grand Marshal!”
The Daniel Island resident describes herself as an “artrepreneur” and philanthropist. She is the co-owner of Black Tie Music Academy – a nine-location music and art instructional academy and music retailer — as well as a professional musician, a multi-media fabrication artist, an illustrator, muralist and a children’s book author. She also inaugurated the local Mardi Gras parade and helped the Little Free Library Boxes get up and running on the island.
Manning and her husband, Drake, have two sons, Dylan and Conner.
She said she is excited to follow in the footsteps of former Grand Marshals Rosie Stieby and Rusty Hughes.
“Both Rosie and Rusty brought their personal spin to the DI Grand Marshal position and I’m looking forward to doing the same. We all share the common thread of fun, community and joy. I may have a mythical creature or two to add to the mix. You’ll have to come to the events to see!” Manning said.
In her bid for the position, Manning noted, “Whimsy and fun are my wheelhouse and my hope is to get more folks to embrace the joy that’s right there in front of them every day.”
Barbara McLaughlin, Manager of Community Services with the Daniel Island Property Owners’ Association, said, “The Grand Marshal serves as a supporter and ambassador of goodwill for the community. Positive attributes of a successful Grand Marshal would be possessing enthusiasm and passion for the community…. I think the community has chosen someone with that and more in Kris Manning. When you meet Kris you can’t help but sense an excitement and love of life evident by her infectious smile and welcoming and gracious personality, not to mention her creative side that is off the chart. Kris is always positive, outgoing and enjoys events and fun, and exemplifies that love of community that we appreciate here on Daniel Island. All of these qualities rolled up into one awesome Goodwill Ambassador – that’s Kris Manning to a T!”
Among the many local events that the Grand Marshal participates in throughout the year, some of the highlights include the Mardi Gras Celebration, St. Patrick’s Day Block Party, Rotary Duck Race, Sounds of Summer Concert, Fourth of July parade, and the holiday tree lighting at Guggenheim Plaza. Other responsibilities range from ribbon cuttings to fundraisers to civic or business occasions, according to McLaughlin.
“The POA staff looks forward to working together with Kris this year with our events, and I look forward to our first meeting where we will discuss any and all ideas that she has to offer to help make the Grand Marshal position the best it can possibly be,” McLaughlin said.
When asked what she is looking forward to most with her new role, Manning replied, “The opportunities to meet more of our growing community and to contribute to events that raise awareness and much-needed funds to their specific causes.”
The Grand Marshal also receives $1,500 to donate to a charity of their choosing. Manning said the money will benefit The Music Battery, a nonprofit program that she and her business partner developed that engages kids in positive behaviors and helps them develop discipline through music. The free afterschool program offers music instruction and drum line participation to all kids, elementary through high school, in North Charleston. “The Music Battery will receive $1,500 from my designation as Daniel Island Grand Marshal and I know how much it means to the program and the continued success of the kids’ growth. Thank you so much DI!” she exclaimed.