Bentley -- accompanied by members of his staff, as well as District 5 Sen. Greg Reed (R-Jasper) and District 14 Rep. Richard Baughn (R-Lynn) -- toured the community and made a stop at Parrish Town Hall to meet with Mayor Wayne Gross, town officials and citizens who had come to welcome him.
"I can't say enough about how pleased I am with the work this town and its leaders have done to make it one of the best small towns in the state," Bentley said. "It's a beautiful community and its progression is one of the greatest examples I have seen when a local government and its residents work together to make their homes and lives better. If you don't have good local leadership, things are not going to get better. Mayor Gross and the Parrish Town Council have done a top-notch job in moving their community forward toward a bright future. They are proud of what they have accomplished here and I am equally as proud as they are of their work."
Bentley's visit represents the first gubernatorial tour Parrish has ever experienced -- an action that prompted town leaders to award the Key to Parrish to the governor.
"We are so honored that Dr. Bentley chose to make Parrish one of his stops in Walker County," Gross said. "Our past history as a community has been very dark at times. To receive a visit from our governor is a sign of how far we have come since those times when we weren't proud to be Parrish natives. Today, we have a reason to be even more proud of what we have done with this visit. We want Dr. Bentley, Sen. Reed and Rep. Baughn to know how much we appreciate their work they do to help make Alabama a better place to live."
During his tour, Bentley spoke with several Parrish veterans and made a special stop to pose for pictures at the Parrish Veteran's Memorial.
He was also treated to an impromptu concert in the mayor's office -- a gospel song sung by Reed with Gross playing his piano. The singing thrilled many of those in attendance, particularly Bentley and his staff.
"This is one of the most enjoyable visits to a town that we have had since we started touring the state," Bentley's Deputy Chief of Staff Zach Lee said. "It's a great atmosphere, the people are wonderful and the hospitality has been outstanding. Parrish has really impressed us all."