Music will be a big part of this year's Pioneer Railroad Days Celebration. This year the summer celebrations start on June 18 and end on June 23.
Parade Chairman Stan Luther reports there is good news for musical parade units. A big problem in the past in getting high school bands is the state band festival which is held annually in Alexandria, Minn., on the last Saturday of June. With this year having five Saturdays, that opens up Railroad Days weekend.
Luther further adds that in part, because of the date change there have been seven high school bands scheduled for this years parade so far.
High school bands scheduled for this years parade are Owatonna, Maple River, Fairmont, Alexandria, St. James and the St. James Area Monster Band. In addition the following musical unites are signed up to attend: Su Fu Du, Schell's Hoboband, 13th ID Band and the Mankato Lancers.
Thursday evening will begin three nights of entertainment at the fairgrounds entertainment building. Entertainment will feature "A Tribute to Johnny Cash" starring Ron E Cash. The event is a family oriented fun night for the entire family. Admission is free with Railroad Days button or three dollars.
Friday evening a new event will take place called Country Night. Country Night will feature "The Canyon Cowboys." The evening will also feature a WE Fest giveaway. Starting in May and continuing until Railroad Days, Everyone will be able to sign up at special events and KRRW Radio. Winner of the promotion will receive a VIP package to WE Fest. The package includes tickets for four to the entire event, camping, front row section seating, back stage passes and complimentary food and beverages.
The Promotion is sponsored in part by Railroad Days, Radio Mankato, KRRW, Miller Lite and St. James Eagles Club.
Saturday the grand finale dance will once again feature "Side FX".
Also new this year will be a new twist on the inflatables. Those in attendance will be able to scale the 65 foot rock slide climb the sinking titanic thrill slide, also new for this year will be the carousel playland - rescue heroes playland and others.
This years tractor pull will be an event where participants can earn points toward their year end totals.
The committee works very hard all year long in planning the events and includes Jim Neid - Chairman, Heidi Spitzner - VP, Brenda Beltz - Treaurer, Jody Schwanke - Secretary, Directors are : Stan Luther - Parade, Gene Hildebrandt, Dwight Burman, Katie Ranniger - Tractor Pull, Kevin Spitzner.
Anyone who would like to be on the Railroad Days committee should contact any of the above officers. High school age volunteers are needed – incidentally – this really looks good on scholarship applications. With the addition of all the extra bands this year there is a need for extra help in the parade lineup. Even if you do not want to be a committee member, volunteers are needed during the celebration. Those wishing to volunteer should contact Jim at 507-375-5813 and Heidi at 507-276-8638
Page 2 of 2 - Railroad Days also has a Facebook page at St. James Railroad Days. You can view a full tentative schedule of events on that site.