By Cody Wright
When the popular Lone Ranger Parade and Festival returns to downtown Oxford on Saturday, Aug. 4, there will be a new man peering through the eyeholes of the legendary black mask.
Garry Cherricks, a tribute performer from Salisbury, Maryland who’s been portraying the famous fictional lawman since 2005, will ride into town atop his white horse, Silver, to delight young and old.
He uses actor Clayton Moore’s portrayal of The Lone Ranger during the 1949-57 television series as his model, mimicking his appearance and style. Cherricks strives to be as accurate as possible in his portrayal.
“This is why the news media has written about me as being the ONLY authentic-looking Lone Ranger and Silver touring the USA,” wrote Cherricks on his website www.theloneranger.tv. He claims this is “a level no other impersonator has achieved.”
Cherricks has been hired to work local festivals, parades and other events across the country. He claims he and his horse have been seen by more than 12 million spectators.
But there’s more to Cherricks’ performance than simply playing cowboy.
“He also spreads a positive message to the kids (about) the importance of responsibility and staying away from smoking, drinking and drugs,” said Tex Holland, Cherricks’ booking agent.
Cherricks’ website explains his appearances are always educational, family-oriented, good-humored, magical and packed with Old West action. He ends all of his shows with a musical tribute to the United States and all the veterans that have served and defended it over the years, according to his website.
Also, new to Oxford’s Lone Ranger Parade and Festival this year will be Mike Van Daal and his custom made-and-sized mermaid tails.
Van Daal offers a unique service, providing two different styled mermaid tails and tops, made from silicone and spandex mesh. The tails are not only for looks, they are fully ready for water and use, having a built in monofin that provides power for swimming.
If you’re one of those people who have been waiting all their life for this, or you’re just curious, you can find them on Facebook, at Flip Tails-Mermaid Tails and Accessories.
This year, there will also be a rock climbing wall, fire-breathing performers, magician and mentalist Anthony Grupido, Irish dancers from Sullivan’s Public House, a mechanical bull, bounce house, puppet show and musical performances from 3rd Degree Burns, the DixieLand Band, and Garmony of Harmony.
The Lone Ranger will also be performing a 30-minute version of his show, which is something Holland said “he has performed all over the country.”
The parade along Washington St. (M-24) is set to start at 11 a.m. The festival will primarily take place along Burdick St. and there will be plenty of vendors set up for the day with food, beverages and more.