(Alexandria, MN) To celebrate 35 years of success, the Vikingland Band Festival is proud to announce that eight long-serving former committee members will serve as grand marshals of Alexandria’s 35th Annual Vikingland Band Festival to be held Sunday, June 30. Drawn from retired committee members with the most years of service, the eight grand marshals will represent the 158 individuals who have served on the Festival committee since the event began in 1985. The 2019 grand marshals and their years of service are:
- Melody Thoennes (18 years)
- Michael Bouressa (12 years)
- Kathy Tauber (11 years)
- Al Quam (10 years)
- Debbi Rydberg (10 years)
- Monique Sebring (10 years)
- Louise and Steve Cook (9 years)
Five additional committee members with long terms of service are still actively running the event and are worthy of mention even though they are not part of this year’s grand marshal honorees. Rhonda Blaser has served 22 years, Greg DeGier 19 years, and Kim and Dave Nelson 9 years. Festival co-founder Ken Martinson has officially served 15 years but when including unofficial roles he has been active all 35 years. In addition to the official committee members who meet throughout the year to plan the event, hundreds of additional volunteers have helped with duties on the day of the event. When considering these additional volunteers, the eight grand marshals will be representing the dedication and volunteer spirit of well over 500 individuals.
Committee chair Greg DeGier said the honorees have a common thread. “All of these great people have passion, whether it’s for youth, for community, or for producing a great event,” DeGier said. “These people came back year after year. Their devotion has helped keep the event strong for an incredible 35 years.” The grand marshals will lead the Vikingland Band Festival parade featuring 1,700 performers beginning at 1:30 PM on Sunday, June 30. The marching music weekend will also include the Minnesota Drum Corps Premiere & Vikingland Band Festival Preview on Saturday, June 29, at 7:00 PM.
For information about reserved parade bleacher seating and advance discounts on drum corps tickets, visit the official website at www.VikinglandBandFestival.com.