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Local Business Owner Rebecca Tax Is This Year’s Grand Marshal

The owner of two prominent Little City businesses is this year’s Grand Marshal for the upcoming 41st Annual Memorial Day Parade on Monday, May 29. 

Selected by The City of Falls Church’s Recreation and Parks Advisory Board for her “extensive community involvement” with various local organizations, Rebecca Tax will preside over the City’s annual festivities. Tax currently owns North Washington Street’s Clare and Don’s Beach Shack with her brother Dave, as well as Lazy Mike’s Deli, located just outside the City and near Meridian High School. 

“Those who frequent Lazy Mike’s or Clare and Don’s during the lunch rush find their impact on building a sense of community quickly becomes evident with the crowds and conversations at both establishments that happen daily,” read the nomination letter by The City of Falls Church’s Recreation and Parks Advisory Board. 

A Falls Church resident for 16 years, Tax and her brother had previously owned businesses in Arlington for 10 years, including an ice cream parlor named Lazy Sunday. After losing their lease, Tax said Falls Church was a “perfect location” as a new home for Lazy Sunday. 

This year’s Grand Marshal Rebecca Tax owns two restaurants with her brother David Tax in F.C., as well as given back to the community with various fundraisers. (Photo: Phebe Fahmy)

“It wasn’t anything I had ever planned on,” Tax said when talking about her beginnings as a business owner. “This sense of community here in Falls Church is really nothing I’ve ever experienced before.” 

As for her “extensive community involvement,” Tax uses both Clare and Don’s Beach Shack and Lazy Mike’s Deli to host fundraiser dinners to help local organizations, make special ice cream flavors for school celebrations and donate food for school functions. 

Aside from being a business owner, Tax personally has been involved in various local organizations, including Falls Church City Public Schools and the Falls Church Homeless Shelter. Every Tuesday, Tax runs a food distribution center in Fairfax called Food Justice, where groceries and household items are provided to “about 100 families a week.” Tax also provides fresh produce for Columbia Baptist Church’s food pantry, located nearby Clare and Don’s. 

“There’s unfortunately a great need in our community and surrounding areas [for food],” Tax said. “I have the ability to buy food wholesale, and I wanted to be able to share that with others who need it.” 

When finding out she would be this year’s Grand Marshal, Tax said she initially felt a little “embarrassed” due to being put in the spotlight, but also “super proud.” She said her friend Gwenda Wilson had been nominating Tax for this title for years. 

For her parade float, Tax said she was “at a loss” in what her theme should be. After bouncing off a few ideas, Tax said she began to think about what Memorial Day is and “what it means.” To honor the holiday, Tax will be memorializing a friend’s son who was killed in Afghanistan, as well as another friend’s son who was killed in the 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida.

As for what her words of advice would be for those who may look up to her or are future Grand Marshals, Tax quoted the Golden Rule: “Treat people the way you want to be treated.” 

“We like to be supportive of the community’s needs, and that generosity has come back multifold,” Tax said.