Clarion, PA-(ENEWSPF)- Former Pittsburgh Steeler and NFL Hall of Fame running back Franco Harris and his wife Dana Harris are coming to the 55th Annual Autumn Leaf Festival parade.
Harris, who is backing Democratic Presidential Candidate Barack Obama, has announced he will ride on the Clarion County Democratic Party Float with his wife Dana.
"We are very excited that Franco is coming to Clarion to take part in the 55th ALF Parade and also to support Senator Obama’s campaign," said Clarion County Democratic Party Chairman Bill Miller.
"Not only is Franco known in the area as an outstanding football player and NFL Hall of Famer, but he is also known as a great humanitarian who has worked very hard to support important causes and community action for the people of Pittsburgh and the entire region. Franco is a humble man who has always believed in giving back to the people and that’s why we’re so happy to have him here for ALF," added Miller.
Harris, who was born in Fort Dix, New Jersey, had a very good career at Penn State and then was drafted in the first round by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1972. He played 12 years for the Steelers and helped them win four Super Bowls including Super Bowl IX, X, XIII, XIV. He was selected to 9 Pro Bowls, was MVP of Super Bowl IX running for 158 yards and 1 td against Minnesota.
In 1972 Franco was the Sporting News and UPI "Rookie of the Year" rushing for 1,055 yards and 10 TDs, but mostly that year was remembered by the "Immaculate Reception" he made during the AFC Division Playoff game at Three Rivers Stadium between the Steelers and the Oakland Raiders. The last second td gave the Steelers their first playoff win in franchise history.
Harris finished his career with 12,120 rushing yards and 91 rushing TDs, along with 307 catches for 2,287 yards and 9 TDs. He played 12 years for the Steelers (1972-83), and 1 with the Seattle Seahawks
(1984). At the time of his retirement, his combined net yardage total of 14,622 yards was the third best ever in the NFL. He was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1990.
Clarion’s Autumn Leaf Festival is in its 55th year. The festival starts Saturday and continues through Sunday Oct. 5. Featuring Day and Night Activities throughout the festival, a few highlights include the "Autorama" Antique Car Show on Sunday, Farmers & Crafters Day on Friday, and the ALF Parade, which starts at Noon and is known to draw over 100,000 people along its route and can last from two to two-and-a-half hours.