Riegel wins Christmas Cruise award at St. John

Fran Brownell
St. John News
Winner of the $25 first-place prize in St. John’s first Lighted Christmas Parade was Aric Riegel driving with wife, Katy, an 18-wheeler aglow with strings of light and a Frosty the Snow Man head crowned with a black top hat adorning the grill.
An antique 1948 Chevy Thriftmaster pickup with Cami Raines as Mrs. Claus at the wheel and husband Aaron Raines as Santa riding shotgun was among the entries in St. John’s first Lighted Christmas Parade. Elves riding in the bed were eight-year-old Brogan Schawe, along with his six-year-old brother Daxton and four-year-old sister Kalina, children of Angela and Jeff Schawe, neighbors to the Raines.

St. John Square was aglow last Sunday evening, December 13, with the brilliance of Christmas lights decorating vehicles of a variety of types and descriptions for the city’s first Lighted Christmas Parade, organized by St. John Police Sgt. Tori Perez.

“We had 29 official entries, but people kept showing up and getting in line,” Perez said. “It was a lot of fun!”

St. John Police Chief Allen Adams commended Officer Perez in a SJPD Facebook  post: “I want to thank Sgt. Perez for all of her hard work on the Christmas Parade. Sgt. Perez put a lot of time and effort in the 1st Annual Parade and hope we have many more. I also want to thank the community for their support and a wonderful turnout. I am very proud of this department and town.”

Winner of the $25 first-place prize was Aric Riegel driving, with his wife Katy, an 18-wheeler aglow with strings of light and a Frosty the Snow Man head crowned with a black top hat adorning the grill.

Unofficial St. John photographer Dick Smith kept a trigger finger on his camera’s shutter and captured the spirit of St. John Christmas in digital pixels to share the excitement of the parade on his Facebook site.

Among the parade pictures posted on Smith’s Facebook site is one of a shiny dark green antique 1948 Chevy Thriftmaster pickup, with owners Aaron and Cami Raines decked out as Santa and Mrs. Santa waving out the windows.

Dressed as elves and riding in the truck bed along with a glowing Christmas tree were eight-year-old Brogan Schawe, along with his six-year-old brother Daxton and four-year-old sister Kalina, children of Angela and Jeff Schawe.

“We got the pickup three years ago and we always decorate it for Christmas and park it in front of our house at the curb with Santa  in the front seat,” Cami Raines said.

“When we found out about the parade, we thought, ‘This is perfect,’” said Raines who grew up in Stafford County, returning to her home ground six years ago, come next March.

She recalls her reaction when she discovered that the City of St. John permitted the Nativity Scene to be included in the displays Around the Square whereas that was not allowed in Colorado when the couple lived there.

“I was thrilled beyond measure allowed the Nativity Scene display,” she said.