Normally, members of the Steamboat Days Board of Directors are not nominated for Steamboat Days honors.

The board made an exception this year, however, in choosing Maynard Johnson as the sports grand marshal of the Steamboat Days Grande Parade.

And for good reason.

Johnson spent 28 years in the Winona Park and Recreation Department and retired in 2017 as its director. Bambenek Field No. 1 — the best of the city’s softball fields — was renamed Maynard R. Johnson Field in his honor. Among his many accomplishments as park department director was the creation of a dog park near Prairie Island.

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That’s just the tip of the iceberg of Johnson’s involvement with the city. He’s served and chaired multiple boards and committees around town, including the Winona Community Shared Facilities and Services Committee, the MS Tram Bike Tour, the Winona Grand Excursion Committee and the Rivertown Shuffle. He’s a certified sports official in multiple sports and volunteers for the Great Dakota Gathering.

He received the Tommy Johnson Award in 2005 from the Minnesota Recreation and Parks Association, and received awards from the Winona Winter Carnival, the National Youth Sports Association and the Chamber of Commerce.

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