Vikingland Band Festival returns to downtown Alexandria

After taking a year off due to the pandemic, bands and spectators returned to downtown Alexandria for the 37th annual Vikingland Band Festival.

With the sun shining high in the sky, large crowds gathered along Broadway Street in downtown Alexandria Sunday, June 27, as 15 bands took to the street for the 37th annual Vikingland Band Festival.

Although some aspects of this year’s event were modified because of the COVID-19 pandemic, committee members all agreed that the bands and the spirit of the day exceeded all expectations, according to Ken Martinson, committee member and an organizer of the event.

This year’s grand marshals were Kathleen and Bruce Pohlig. They also served as last year’s grand marshals, although the festival had been canceled because of COVID-19.

Martinson said besides having the same grand marshals two years in a row, other aspects changed because of the pandemic were fewer bands performing and a different judging format.

Instead of placements and scores, the 2021 festival featured ratings of good, excellent or superior. He noted that nine bands achieved a rating of excellent and six bands achieved the rating of superior.


The Alexandria Area High School Marching Band, which was the host band, received an excellent rating. Here is a look at the rest of the ratings:

Excellent – Sauk Rapids-Rice, Richfield, Albany, Henry Sibley, Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg, Fergus Falls, Mankato (77 Lancers) and Dassel-Cokato.

Superior – Waconia, 728 Cadets, Champlin Park, Milaca, Bemidji and Winona Cotter.

Plans are already underway for next year’s event, which will take place on Sunday, June 26, 2022.

For more information about the Vikingland Band Festival, visit its website at .

Celeste Edenloff is the special projects editor and a reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press. She has lived in the Alexandria Lakes Area since 1997. She first worked for the Echo Press as a reporter from 1999 to 2011, and returned in 2016 to once again report on the community she calls home.
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