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Taft Oildorado parade grand marshal selected ahead of October celebration

Grand Marshal Virgie

The Taft Oildorado executive board selected Virgie Beard of General Production Service to serve as the grand marshal of the 2021 Oildorado Parade on Oct. 16, part of the 10-day celebration of the city of Taft and the oil industry.

We're still more than a month away from Taft Oildorado but news about the quinquennial event is already gushing up.

A grand marshal was just selected for the Grand Parade, a key component of the 10-day event, which is held every five years in celebration of the city of Taft and the oil industry.

"Our executive board unanimously selected Virgie Beard of General Production Service to serve as the grand marshal of the 2021 Oildorado Parade," Shannon Miller, Oildorado president, said in a news release. "Our community has benefited greatly from GPS, and the involvement of Virgie and Charlie Beard and their employees to Oildorado throughout the years made the selection an easy one."

Beard has been a resident of Taft since age 5, when her parents moved her and her four siblings from Washington state for her father's work in the oil fields.

She is CEO of GPS, which was founded by her late husband, Charlie, in 1967, started with one rig and three employees. The company has grown to more than 600 employees providing well servicing, construction and special services to the petroleum industry.

Beard has been a member of Soroptimist International of Taft and the Assembly Dance Club, and helped organize and host the inaugural Taft Gala supporting the Taft District Chamber of Commerce.

Over the years, she has hosted many other fundraising events benefiting the community of Taft and its residents as well as raising a family with husband Charlie, to whom she was married for 42 years until his passing in 2016. The couple have four daughters, 12 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.

Postponed last year, Oildorado kicks off Oct. 8 with a civic luncheon featuring Rep. Kevin McCarthy and California Independent Petroleum Association CEO Rock Zierman, an old-timers registration, cruise night on Center Street and live music.

Celebrations continue, including the Grand Parade on Oct. 16 and culminating Oct. 17 with the final performance of the Melodrama and an oil industry display and demonstration. Visit taftoildorado.com for more information, full calendar and event tickets.