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Strike up the bands

The 2013 Vikingland Band Festival features 21 bands.

Marching bands from Minnesota and Norway will gather in Alexandria this weekend for the 29th annual Vikingland Band Festival parade marching championship. The 21 marching bands will travel down Broadway at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, June 30.

This year's festival also includes the Root Beer Float Concert on Saturday, June 29 at 6 p.m. in the Jefferson High School gym, Alexandria.

The concert will feature the Alexandria Marching Band and the Stabekk School Band from Oslo, Norway. Face painting and free root beer floats will be available at 4:30 p.m. Admission is free.

The Stabekk Band is returning to Alexandria for its second appearance in the Vikingland Band Festival. The band will also present an exhibition on the football field immediately before the awards ceremony on Sunday.

The band was founded in 1915 and wears a uniform modeled after His Majesty the King's Guard, including the same hats that are worn by the real guards in Norway.

Mary and Randy Morken will lead the parade as Grand Marshals in recognition of their lifelong dedication to music. The Morkens have been involved as music teachers, band parents, church music leaders and more.

Judging takes place near 6th Avenue and Broadway. A People's Choice voting area is near 8th Avenue and Broadway.

The DVD cameras and second People's Choice voting area are near 11th Avenue and Broadway.

A final performance area is near 14th Avenue and Broadway. This zone ends where all the drum majors gather to salute their competitors.

There will be no parking on Broadway from 4th Avenue to 15th Avenue. Any vehicles not moved by 12:30 p.m. Sunday will be towed.

The Vikingland Band Festival is made possible by the support of more than 50 sponsors and dozens of volunteers. For more information, visit