Sunday, June 28, 2009


What a thrilling weekend for the Waconia Marching Band, and for all of us "groupies" too!

The Marching Band Season is such a short one.....from Memorial Day through the 4th of July. With rehearsals beginning sporadically in January, then becoming mandatory and disciplined nearly every June morning, the season goes by in a blur. We try to make it to as many parades and competitions as possible, which are held all over Minnesota, usually requiring long drives, and sitting in the sun for about 3 hours per parade. With the gaggle of children we have, fighting for a large enough space through crowds between 2-6 rows deep is often a is the incessant "I'm so thirsty", "It's so hot!", and "Is that the last one? Can we go home now?"

But, we try anyhow. Bob makes it to nearly all of them, even the ones that are 2-1/2 hours away. I try to manage the kids through competitions a bit closer to home so that they do not bug me to death before we even get there on the drive alone. And this year has been fantastic thus far. We have won the title of Grand Champion in every parade and competition we have been in!

However, it all REALLY boils down to this weekend: The Vikingland Band Festival in Alexandria, MN. With 22 competing bands this year, it is the biggest festival in Minnesota. And Grand Champion from this festival is the most covetted title of all. We want it this year...we want it bad.

I have brought the kids up to this important competition each year for the last three years. We began by catching the competition in Osseo on Saturday afternoon. This year, we were blessed to enjoy this festival with friends from Waconia, Grandma & Grandpa, and Mary who brought her little ones to see what all this marching band fuss is all about. We all had a great time, even the newbies, and Waconia enjoyed yet another Grand Champion win!

It was then a quick goodbye to our friends and family as we headed to St. Cloud. We grabbed some food, filled up on gas, checked into our hotel, used the potties (whew!), and spent our free 15 minutes in the pool before heading to the evening parade. As we waited for Waconia from our comfortable curbside seats, we collected candy thrown to us from strangers, and took shelter under a large tree when the wave of downpours rolled through. The silver lining came as many of the large crowd retreated to their warm vehicles and headed home, leaving us ample opportunity to advance on the perfect spots along the parade route to view the music show. Yes, perfect! Again, we took another Grand Champion title home! Well, the band members all went home......Jonny, Laura, Tubby, Bethany, and I went back to the hotel.

Sunday morning brought beautiful sunshine, cooler temperatures in the low 70's, low humidity, and a refreshing breeze, making the Vikingland Band Festival the most comfortable it has ever been. We picked up Grandma ?, Melissa, and Crispy from their cabin at Mount Carmel Family Camp, just outside Alexandria. Melissa and Crispy are in for a week of fun which will end on the 4th of July. They are VERY excited about this special opportunity. But for today, we would all be together in the downtown streets, cheering on Waconia for their last competition of the season. Bob and Michael met us at our post just after the festivities began.

4 hours, 22 bands, 7 parade chairs, 6 ice creams, 3 cheesecurds, 1 huge bag of kettle corn, 4 trips to the potty, 100 changes in seating arrangements, 8 comments about the tiny baby, 3 water bottle refills, 3 poopy diapers, only one nursing session, 2 naps, and an infinite number of "Is that the last band?", and 30 pictures filled our afternoon. Pam and Lyle had saved a lovely spot for us on the sidewalk (though our taped down blankets had mysteriously been moved from the curb), and we had great views of the shows performed by each band as they played in front of the People's Choice judging area. It was exciting and entertaining. Waconia was terrific, as always, and it is so fun to hear the positive comments from spectators around us. My favorite today was, "You know, Waconia Marching Band is legendary!"
Legendary it was today.......we snagged not only People's Choice again this year, but the GRAND CHAMPION title as well!!!! We were entirely undefeated this year!!!! Wow!!! It was so exciting to be a part of the crowd during the awards ceremony as the Waconia fans erupted in the bleachers with the announcement. Those kids have worked so hard for this, and have done a stellar job each year. What a fine reward for a job so well done. And to top it all off, their coach buses were greeted with fire engine escorts and a honking parade as they rolled back into town this evening. The kids were pumped about their accomplishment this year, and the smiles on their faces could have stretched for miles. Alex is now at a buddy's house, celebrating!!!

1 comment:

grandma c. said...

Congratulations! It's been a thrill watching the band perform--they deserve it! Have fun on the band trip to Tenn. Alex!