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 with the parade taking place Saturday, June 22 at 6 p.m.
A big problem in getting high school bands to the parade in the past has been the annual high school state band festival in Alexandria, Minn., which is held on the last Saturday of June. However, this year there are five Saturdays in the month of June, freeing up the Railroad Days weekend for more high school bands, says Parade Chairman Stan Luther.
High school bands scheduled for this years parade are Owatonna, Maple River, St. Francis, Fairmont, Alexandria, St. James, the St. James Area Monster Band. In addition the following musical units are signed up to attend: Su Fu Du, Schell’s Hoboband, 13th ID Band, Highlanders of the North, 34th Redbull Band from Rosemont and the Mankato Lancers.
Units will compete in their individual classes for top prizes along with an overall grand champion, runner up and third place prize winner. The judges for the parade will be located in front of the Armstrong School with awards being distributed following the parade at the East Park Shelter in Memorial Park.
Judges will be looking for units with strong technical formations and music along with solid appearance down to the individual band member.
There will also be floats featured during this year’s parade from different high school classes due to the all school reunion.
This is Luther’s twentieth and final year as a parade chairman. The committee is still looking for about 15 more units to add to the already more than 100 units in this year’s parade.
Don’t forget to stake a spot early on Saturday to enjoy the musical, bright and exciting parade venue here in St. James.