Dr. Brent Reifsteck


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SPRINGFIELD — Dr. Brent Reifsteck, a Carle Health pediatrician, will serve as one of the grand marshals of the Twilight Parade that kicks off the Illinois State Fair today.

This year’s parade will honor health care workers who have helped keep Illinois safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, with 11 of them from around the state serving as grand marshals, according to Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

Reifsteck, head of pediatric services for Carle, said he found out he’d been selected when a call arrived in pediatrics telling him to expect a call from the governor’s office the following week.

He later learned he had been nominated by Champaign-Urbana Public Health District Administrator Julie Pryde.

Reifsteck said he also learned there was one health care provider from each of the state’s 11 regions chosen to be a grand marshal.

“The theme is ‘We are one,’ and I thought it was really cool to represent our region as one of the front-line health care workers,” he said. “It’s a huge honor.”

Before the parade, Reifsteck said he and other grand marshals will have lunch with Pritzker’s wife, M.K.

Family members of the grand marshals will also get to be in the parade, he said, and his two teenage children will be with him and he’s hopeful that his husband will be able to make it.

“Since early last year, our brave health care heroes have kept Illinois communities safe as the COVID-19 pandemic changed the lives of residents in every corner of the state,” Pritzker said. “Their ceaseless dedication to providing the best possible care for their neighbors saved lives.”

Pritzker urged all state residents to show their appreciation by getting vaccinated for COVID-19.

The state fair runs Thursday through Aug. 22 in Springfield. The Twilight Parade starts at 5:30 p.m. from Lincoln Park and will end past the fire station at gate 3.

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