The Vikingland Band Festival is going to need a hay wagon to showcase its grand marshals for this year's parade.
The festival announced this week that is expanding its list of grand marshals, bestowing the honor on eight people who have all worked on its committee.
The 35th annual band festival will be held Sunday, June 30, with a parade starting at 1:30 p.m. in Alexandria.
The eight retired committee members have been chosen to represent the 158 people who have served on festival committees since the inaugural year in 1985.
The 2019 grand marshals, along with the number of years they served on the committee, are:
• Melody Thoennes, 18 years
• Michael Bouressa, 12 years
• Kathy Tauber, 11 years
• Al Quam, Debbi Rydberg and Monique Sebring, 10 years
• Louise and Steve Cook, 9 years
"All of these great people have passion, whether it's for youth, for community, or for producing a great event," said current committee chairman Greg DeGier. "These people came back year after year. Their devotion has helped keep the event strong for an incredible 35 years."
Several other people have served on the Vikingland Band Festival for many years, and are still active in the event. They include Ken Martinson, who co-founded the festival and has been involved ever since, including 15 years on the committee.
Other longtime committee members who are still active in planning meetings include: Rhonda Blaser, 22 years; DeGier, 19 years; and Kim and Dave Nelson, 9 years.
It also takes hundreds of volunteers to run a festival of this size, organizers pointed out in a press release.
In addition to the parade, the Minnesota Drum Corps Premiere & Vikingland Band Festival Preview is slated for 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 29.
Information on reserved parade bleacher seating can be found at www.VikinglandBandFestival.com.