Swanton residents Jeff and Pat Pilliod have been selected as the 2019 Christmas in Swanton grand marshals.
“Jeff and Pat seemed like such an obvious choice to serve as grand marshals,” said Christmas in Swanton Chairman Mike Rochelle. “They clearly love this community and are two of Swanton’s biggest advocates. There is no doubt they are proud of their hometown and want to see it flourish.”
Jeff and Pat (Herrick) Pilliod are both lifelong Swanton residents and were high school sweethearts. The 1970 and 1971 Swanton graduates married Sept. 11, 1976, and had two sons, Justin, 38, and Ryan, 35.
Jeff, who has had a career in sales since the ‘70s, is semi-retired and working part-time for Glen Hunter and Associates. Pat worked for PNC Bank (previously National City) since 1971, retiring in 2018.
Both Pilliods can be seen volunteering in many different roles all over the community. Jeff has served on Village Council since 1995, but decided not to seek reelection this year. His final term will end later this month. He also has been active with the Sons of the American Legion, the Corn Festival, and the Swanton Emergency Police Auxiliary, an organization that was created after the blizzard of 1978 to help the community in times of disaster.
Pat has been involved in the Corn Festival as a committee member and trustee; Swanton Rotary, where she served as president and on the board; the Chamber of Commerce Board; the Swanton Local Schools Foundation; Back Pack Buddies; the Open Door Board; the Grow Up Great program through PNC; and Trinity United Methodist Church, as former TAF treasurer and as a Sunday school volunteer.
“We are truly honored and humbled,” Jeff said of receiving the distinction of grand marshal.
“We never expected anything like this,” Pat continued. “Our love and passion for this community drives us to do what we can to help make it a great place to live. This is our home, and we just love everything about Swanton.”
The Pilliods will lead the Christmas in Swanton Parade as grand marshals on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. The parade theme is “Old-Fashioned Christmas” and will include the Swanton and Delta High School marching bands, floats from area businesses and organizations, and Santa Claus.
The Christmas in Swanton craft show and sale will begin at 10 a.m., and will be open until 4 p.m. Crafters from all over the region will be selling creative and unique holiday gifts. The craft show will be at Swanton High School.
Santa will be available to listen to holiday wishes in the high school auditorium following the parade until 1 p.m., and again from 2-3:30 p.m.
The Friends of the Swanton Public Library will sponsor Christmas Carol’s Family Fun Magic Show in the auditorium at 1 p.m.
Many other activities will be going on at the high school throughout the day including children’s crafts, cookie decorating, wagon rides, and a model train display.