Not once has Mike Fisher had a chance to attend the Nashville Christmas Parade.
His duties as a member of the Nashville Predators always conflicted with the celebration.
This year is finally different. The Preds' recently retired captain will be the guest of honor and serve as grand marshal at the 64th Annual Piedmont Natural Gas Nashville Christmas Parade this December.
The annual community centerpiece has been a staple of Nashville's holiday festivities dating back to 1927 and will once again benefit The Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt. Both organizations are excited to welcome the former Preds star to this year's event.
"Part of the major leadership for [the Predators] is the captain, Mike Fisher," said Vanderbilt Children's Hospital Director of Pediatric Urology Dr. John W. Brock III, during the grand marshal announcement Tuesday. "We as an organization and the city of Nashville are so proud to have Mike as the grand marshal for this year."
Fisher played in 1,088 NHL games across 17 seasons with the Predators and Ottawa Senators before hanging up his skates following Nashville's Stanley Cup Final run last spring. That included 413 games in Predators Gold where he totaled 237 points.
Long a supporter of local charities dating back to his time with Ottawa, the 37-year-old Fisher echoed Dr. Brock's excitement. The Nashville Christmas Parade brings joy to thousands of children in Middle Tennessee, he said, and he compared his feelings over his involvement to his many Children's Hospital visits since arriving in Nashville in 2010.
Video: Mike Fisher to serve at parade benefiting hospital
"Our team has had such a great relationship with this hospital for a long time," Fisher began. "I know I speak for all the guys when I say we really enjoy coming here. Sometimes it's difficult because there's a lot of different emotions when you're here seeing the kids, but this hospital does so many good things.
"I think since I've had children, too, it really hits home."
Fisher and his wife, country music artist Carrie Underwood, welcomed their first child, son Isaiah Michael Fisher, in early 2015.
The Nashville Christmas Parade will wind its way through downtown Nashville on Saturday, Dec. 2, starting at 8:30 a.m. (CT). The parade's path will take it up Broadway and right past Bridgestone Arena.
"This parade is about Christmas, but it's really about kids," Nashville Mayor Megan Barry said at Tuesday's announcement. "It's about the fact that we get to support kids through that parade we get to support the Children's Hospital."