Community Interest

Defiance Christmas Parade - What a Great Day!

By Jeff Comotto, Defiance Merchants Assoc.

The Defiance Merchants Association would like to thank everyone who participated in and attended our 10th annual Christmas Festival - the biggest and best ever!

The morning started out with a 5K run. We thank everyone who participated and congratulate the winners: Layla Evans and Jacob Blassingame (first place female & male under 25) and MaryAnn Malven and Mike Aitken (first place female & male over 25).

We had the largest crowd ever to watch the parade, and a record number of participants in the event. Prize winners were Best Car–a black 1937 Chevy Master owned by Paul Musket; Best ATV/UTV/Golf Cart–a Can-Am by the Schmidt/Reth families with Kendall Schmidt on the back in a Santa suit. Best Horse was Bella (a pony ridden by Mack) owned by Sarah Boekamp. Best Horse/Owner Ensemble was Titan (large draft Horse) owned by Dave and Steph Muesli. Best Dog was Parker, a Bouvier, owned by Jena and Brent Baumgarten. Best Dog/Owner Ensemble was the Stanley Cup Pups owned by Renee Betlach and Rhonda DeGeal (dressed in a St Louis Blues theme.)  Best Social Media “Liked” Pet, was won by Danny (Dog) owned by Don and Karen Faucett. The Best Float was the R.O.M.E.O. (Retired Older Men Eating Out) Club float - well-decorated in a military theme. Each of the prize winners won $100 sponsored by area businesses. (The winners of  the best float donated their prize winnings to The Focus Marine Foundation.)

Special thanks to this year’s judges: Bill and Chris Schaul & Denis and Diane Raab (Cars/ATVs etc), MJ King and Cindy Roberts (Horses) and Tim and Judy Hennessey (Pets). All judges helped with the Best Float award.

We were especially honored to have as our special guest in the parade, WWII Veteran Yoeman 2nd Class USN Wayne Surgeon, 95 years old, from Florissant. He served on the USS Tennessee BB-43.

Since the parade fell on Pearl Harbor Day, it had an extra military emphasis this year, and we received many great comments from veterans that both participated and attended, especially the Vietnam vets. A number commented, with tears in their eyes, that they felt this was the Homecoming Parade they never got.

What a great DMA team effort!

Thanks to everyone who worked so hard on this year’s event and helped make this the best parade yet!!!


1. Best Float ROMEO Club webIMG_1702.jpg
First Place Float: R.O.M.E.O. (Retired Older Men Eating Out) Club.
(Prize money was donated to The Focus Marines Foundation.)


2. Best Can Am front web IMG_1637.jpg
Best ATV/UTV/Golf Cart (front) – a Can-Am by the Schmidt/Reth families 


3. Best Can-Am web IMG_1639.jpg
Best ATV/UTV/Golf Cart (back) – Kendall Schmidt on the back in a Santa suit.


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4. Best Car web IMG_1595.jpg
Best Car: 1937 Chevy Master owned by Paul Musket.


5. Best Dog web  IMG_1502.jpg
Best Dog, Parker, a Bouvier, owned
by Jena and Brent Baumgarten. 


6. Best dog owner ensemble blues web Stanley Cup Pups IMG_1485.jpg
Best Dog/Owner Ensemble: Stanley Cup Pups,
owned by Renee Betlach and Rhonda DeGeal,
with friends Pam Crossett and Maelynn Welge.


7. BestHorse web .jpg
Best Horse was Bella
(a pony ridden by Mack)
owned by Sarah Boekamp.


8. best horse owner ensemble pr webMG_1630.jpg
Best Horse/Owner Ensemble was Titan owned by Dave and Steph Muesli.


9. MostLikedPetweb SocialMedia.jpg
Best Social Media (Most “Liked” Pet)
was Danny, owned by
Don and Karen Faucett.


10. WW2 Vet web  IMG_1528.jpg
WWII Vet, Yoeman 2nd Class USN Wayne Surgeon.


11. USS Arizona Memorial Float web IMG_1515.jpg
Pearl Harbor Memorial Float - entered by the St. Charles Marine Corp League.

12. under 25 winners.jpg
5K winners - Under 25, pictured with Jeff Comotto - Defiance DMA :
Jacob Blassingame (1st place male) and Layla Evans (1st place female.)


13. over 25 winners.jpg
5K Winners - Over 25, with Jeff Comotto - Defiance DMA: 
Mike Aitken (1st place male) and MaryAnn Malven (1st place female.)


14. Gun Salute web MG_1522.jpg
When the beginning of the parade reached the intersection
of Hwy. 94 and Defiance Road,
the St. Charles Marine Corp League did a gun salute.

15. dogs - tree group IMG_1496.jpg
Other parade contestants: Christmas tree group.

16. dogs pig IMG_1499.jpg
A dog dressed as a pig.


17 dogs cheryl IMG_1489.jpg
Cheryl Hueffmeier and her two dogs.


18. grand marshall john laceyIMG_1511.jpg
Defiance Resident John Lacey.


19. Salute to Peggy Buhrman IMG_1543.jpg
Salute to Peggy Buhrman, owner of Piazza Deli,
who passed away earlier this year.



20. Other UTVs web IMG_1647.jpg
Two of several UTV entries.


21. Float Defiance Ridge IMG_1659.jpg
Defiance Ridge Vineyards float.


22. wilderness subd float IMG_1666.jpg
Wilderness Subdivision Float.


More photos were posted on the Boone Country Connection Facebook page in early December.