Normally, Roberts Police Chief Dan Burgess leads off the Roberts Good Neighbor Days parade from his squad car, and proceeds to direct traffic and keep parade goers safe.
But this year, Burgess will have a different role. He has been named 2013 Good Neighbor Days parade grand marshal.
Burgess said the honor came as a complete surprise.
"I was shocked," Burgess said. "It was a huge honor that I never expected in a million years."
When he received the call from the Roberts Lion Lori Meyer, asking him to be grand marshal, he expected that Meyer just wanted to speak about other parade business.
"When she asked me to be the grand marshal, it really took me off guard," Burgess said. "It was pretty shocking. I don't usually get sidestepped that easy, so it was kind of fun."
"It'll be nice to be riding in it (the parade) instead of running out in front and have to have all those responsibilities," Burgess said. "I can relax a little bit."
As soon as he is finished riding through the parade, however, Burgess will have to go back to work. He said Good Neighbor Days is the Roberts Police Department's busiest time of year. The Roberts police coordinate parking, keep the parade route clear, ensures vehicles are clean and presentable, and patrols for security.
"Our priority is to see everybody staying safe," Burgess said, "but wanting everybody to have a good time and enjoy the community event at the same time."
Burgess has been Roberts' police chief since November 2009. He previously worked in the Spring Valley and River Falls police departments.
Burgess said his favorite part of the Good Neighbor Days parade is seeing the antique cars and the local marching bands.
"My hope is that the weather's nice," Burgess said, "and we get the people here to celebrate the community."