‘I was more nervous than anything:’ Firefighter proposes to girlfriend during Dousman parade

DOUSMAN -- Fire trucks are a staple of any small town parade -- but the crew walking in the Dousman Derby Days Parade stole the show.

In the Village of Dousman, the bullfrog is king, watching over downtown and standing guard in the village park, but it was on Main Street that Morgan Bender looked past the frogs to find her prince.

"I actually didn't want to date. I told him for a long time, 'I don't date.' He was very persistent. He told me Bohmans are not quitters," said Bender.

One day led to two -- then two years with volunteer firefighter Shawn Bohman -- who decided to pop the question in the middle of the Dousman Derby Days Parade route.

"I was more nervous than anything. I told her we were inviting all these people for a party," said Bohman.

The entire town was in on the plan -- and everyone kept quiet, until Bohman, who recruited the UW Band for help, came marching down the road with a ring.

"I saw two firemen holding the banner -- and then I saw Morgan and I was like 'oh God, this is happening,'" said Bender.

Shawn Bohman and Morgan Bender

Shawn Bohman and Morgan Bender

Shawn Bohman and Morgan Bender

Then, Bohman dropped down on two knees to ask Bender to be his bride.

"Because he said I'm worth two knees. It was really cute," said Bender.

"It's the best Derby Days I've had in 30 years," said Bohman.

The proposal was such a hit, the Dousman Parade Committee awarded Bohman and his crew a first place award for a fire station entry. The department gave the trophy, which is topped with a frog, to the newly-engaged couple.