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Christmas stories parade down the streets

BONNE TERRE — Marvin Chapel United Methodist Church’s Christmas parade float was made of cans of food.

“We did a canned food drive and built the parade float from it,” Pastor Bryan Schaefer said.

There was Little Drummer Boy made of canned goods and a manger was also lined with cans.

Church members collected about 1,000 cans of food which will be given to the Bonne Terre Ministerial Alliance after the parade.

Allison Trober and Allison Fichtelman came up with the idea of making the float out of cans while Barb Stepney thought of making the Little Drummer Boy.

“We got it done in a week,” a church member said.

“And we shrink wrapped it so it wouldn’t fall off,” another said.

The theme of the 30th annual Bonne Terre Chamber of Commerce Christmas Parade was Christmas Stories.

The cold weather didn’t keep people away. Hundreds of people lined the streets for the parade.

Lydie Miner, Alyssa Wigger, and Trina Pratte were bundled up on Division Street near Crossroads while Ayden Davison, who was with his grandpa, didn’t seem to mind the cold.

Colton Suttles, and cousins, Alyssa and Cheyanne VonTun were bundled up on their float for Cross Trail Cowboy Church. The stockings were hung with care behind them.

Taz the dog got a break from walking and joined Big River Hills Eagles 4210 in a How the Grinch Stole Christmas float.

Halfway through the parade, Shelby French and Chelsea and Haylea Hurt stopped in front of Paula Slinkard’s home on Main Street for hot cocoa and cookies. Slinkard said this is the fifth year she’s given out free cocoa to people walking buy, as well as her fellow church members at Gospel Light Free Will Baptist.

“It keeps getting bigger and bigger,” she said. “I filled it up a couple of times.”

Rory Basden spent the whole night with his tongue stuck to the flagpole. He was part of St. Joseph School’s float. Also with him were Ralphie (Tyler Vinyard) and his little brother (Devon Mason). A few of the students were bandits running around giving children candy. A large women’s leg lamp was on top of the truck pulling that float.

Mercy and Truth Fellowship Church had not one but three Jesuses on their float — from the cradle to the cross to the crown. There was a doll for baby Jesus, while Luke Clifford was the crowned Jesus and Pastor Gary Stabenow carried the cross through the whole parade.

There were about 65 entries in the parade. “We had an excellent turn out this year,” said organizer Carolyn Kaeser. “And a lot of people lining the street.”

Winners of the float contest were first place, Unico Bank; second place, Pharmax Pharmacy; third place, First State Community Bank; fourth place, Faith Cowboy Church; and fifth place Leadbelt Pentecostal.

Before the parade, Boyer Funeral Home and Shearin Funeral Home hosted a Memorial Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony at Bicentennial Park to remember loved ones who died. There was also a License to Cut Cancer Christmas tree. The trees will be lit through Dec. 31.

Teresa Ressel is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-431-2010, ext. 179 or at

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