NEW BREMEN — For one area resident, nabbing the lead spot in an annual parade was a complete surprise.
Delores Stienecker said she has known for approximately two months that she was named grand marshal for this weekend’s Bremenfest parade, but she has been in shock and she didn’t want to tell anyone.
“I didn’t want to tell anybody in case they changed their mind,” Stienecker said.
She said she knew her cousin submitted a letter of recommendation for the position, but she said she didn’t think she had a chance.
“It took me by surprise, it really did,” Stienecker said of when she found out. “I was very surprised, it was just unreal. I just felt so honored.”
Stienecker said her cousin’s letter was enough of a compliment.
“It was very nice to be nominated, and to be selected, it made me feel honored,” she said.
Stienecker will be leading the parade, which begins at 1 p.m. Sunday.
“I will welcome people as I drive by,” she said.
Stienecker noted she has never received such an honorable award.
“That’s why it took me so off guard,” she said. “I said, ‘You’ve got to be kidding.’ It was an unreal feeling. I felt honored, like is this really happening.”
Stienecker said she has been involved in the community for years.
“When my kids were in school, I was in the PTA, and when they got older, I was still involved,” she said. “I didn’t feel it was a duty, I felt it was something you should do because you have children and are part of the community.”
Stienecker is also a curator for the New Bremen Historic Association and a village councilor, where she serves as chair of the parks committee and is on the safety and finance committees.
“When they started Bremenfest, I did the German potato salad every year,” Stienecker said, noting her spot in the roots of the annual festival. “They would bring me 5 pounds of potatoes and 5 pounds of bacon, and I would make it and bring it there.”
Stienecker also is a staple at The Artist’s Touch in New Bremen, where she works, and does volunteer work.
“I’ve been going to an Indian reservation, where I take clothes, shoes, boots, bedding, every two years, down to South Dakota,” she said. “I rent a van with my son and we drive it out — it’s a joint venture with a lot of people in the community.”
Stienecker has also done work with the library.
“I had craft ideas, and I suggested holding classes at the library,” she said, noting that although she isn’t currently involved with the library, the craft classes are still going strong.
Overall, Stienecker noted it was an honor to be recognized by the community she loves.
“I’ve spent a lot of time in New Bremen, New Bremen is my town,” she said. “I’ve just never thought of living anywhere else.”