CATHEDRAL CITY – The exquisite, beautifully choreographed Celebration of Life for Mayor Gregory S. Pettis was due in large part to one man — Chris Parman.
At the Feb. 13 Study Session, Mayor Mark Carnevale recognized Parman for his exceptional work in planning the event that hundreds from across the region attended.
In presenting Parman with a Certificate of Recognition, Carnevale praised him for planning the highly-detailed event in an extraordinarily short amount of time. Pettis died on Jan. 15; the Celebration of Life was held Feb. 1.
It would have been a massive undertaking in normal circumstances, but Parman was pulling it all together as much of the city was shell-shocked and emotionally distraught.
The venue was Big League Dreams Sports Park. Parman transformed a section to look like what some have described as a cathedral. It featured row upon row of white chairs and floral bouquets. He put together a program that featured the Cathedral City High School Band and Cathedral City High School Choir. Each performed musical tributes.
The Cathedral City Police and Fire Honor Guard presented the flags.
He arranged for U.S. Rep Mark Takano, State Sen. Jeff Stone and Mayor Carnevale to provide remarks and remembrances. He wrote scripts and helped Mayor Pro Tem John Aguilar produce a poignant and sometimes funny video tribute.
It was nothing short of a production.
“It was an honor to have that responsibility,” Parman said.
Parman, who has served as communications and events manager for Cathedral City since 2014, was quick to give credit to the Police Department, Fire Department, Public Arts Commissioner Alan Carvalho, and Forest Lawn.
“It was much bigger than me,” the ever-humble Parman said.
He also arranged a reception that featured a Mexican Fiesta, including Pettis’ favorite Mexican Street Tacos on linen-covered tables.
Flanked by the entire City Council, a grateful Parman said, “I appreciate the recognition.”
Photos courtesy of Public Arts Commissioner Alan Carvalho.
- Chris Parman: Public Arts Commissioner Alan Carvalho