Noah Galloway named Christmas parade grand marshal

U.S. Army Sgt. Noah Galloway, an Alabaster resident and recent winner of the Men's Health Magazine Ultimate Guy contest, will marshal the 2014 Alabaster Christmas parade. (File)

U.S. Army Sgt. Noah Galloway, an Alabaster resident and recent winner of the Men’s Health Magazine Ultimate Guy contest, will marshal the 2014 Alabaster Christmas parade. (File)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – A well-known U.S. Army sergeant and this year’s Men’s Health “Ultimate Guy” will serve as the highlight of this year’s Alabaster Christmas parade, city leaders announced on Nov. 24.

Noah Galloway, an Alabaster resident, has gained national acclaim over the past few months after he won Men’s Health Magazine’s “Ultimate Guy” contest, beating out 1,300 other contestants to be featured on the front of the magazine in early October. He has been named the grand marshal of this year’s Alabaster Christmas parade, which will begin at 10 a.m. on Dec. 6.

“He’s a great guy, and he has a wonderful story to tell,” Ward 1 Councilwoman Sophie Martin said during a Nov. 24 pre-meeting work session.

On Dec. 19, 2005, Galloway was serving in the 1st of the 502nd Infantry of the Army’s 101st Airborne Division, and was driving an armored Humvee near Baghdad, Iraq, when the vehicle hit a tripwire for an improvised explosive device.

The resulting explosion threw the 9,000-pound Humvee through the air and knocked Galloway unconscious. When he awoke five days later, he was missing portions of his left arm and leg.

After working to regain his fitness, Galloway decided to enter the Men’s Health contest, and was featured on the magazine’s cover after winning.

This year’s parade will follow the same route as last year’s, and will begin at the Ernest McCarty Ford dealership on U.S. 31 before turning right onto Second Place Northwest, traveling down First Street Southwest and ending at the stop sign in front of Southbrook Village.

During the parade, which is organized and sponsored by Alabaster city personnel and the Alabaster Beautification Board, the two southbound lanes of U.S. 31 will be closed, and northbound and southbound traffic will be diverted onto the two northbound lanes.