What is typically an event full of excitement and cheers was met with a somber, emotional moment.
Near the start of the Defeat of Jesse James Days grand parade Sunday, the children of Jane Moline led the raid re-enactors. Instead of riding in the parade, Molly and Gus DeMann led their mother’s riderless horse, adorned with her jacket, boots and cowboy hat. Chaz DeMann followed his siblings on horseback.
Moline, of Dundas, died Sept. 3 after a two-year battle with an aggressive brain tumor known as glioblastoma. Moline was a longtime supporter and volunteer for Defeat of Jesse James Days, first getting involved in the event in 1975 and eventually becoming Defeat Days' first female general chair in 1987. She and her husband, Chip DeMann, where heavily involved for decades with the raiders and re-enactments of the failed 1876 raid. Moline ran the street side of the raid re-enactments and all three of the couple's children have been a part of the performances for a number of years.
When the group reached the judging table on Division Street during the parade, there was a serious – albeit brief – moment of silence as they remembered and honored the woman who dedicated so much of her life to Northfield’s biggest event. Each raid re-enactment over the weekend was dedicated to Moline.
Wayne Eddy, the former owner of KYMN Radio and longtime radio personality, served as the announcer during the parade alongside Lisa Peterson, president and CEO of the Northfield Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism.
Aside from Northfield and Rice County entries, the parade featured royalty/ambassadors from across the region and floats from all over the metro and southern Minnesota area, and lasted roughly two hours.