This is a big weekend for live music in Alexandria, as the Vikingland Band Festival returns for its 35th year.
Lots of new faces will be in town for the Minnesota Drum Corps Premiere show Saturday and the big parade Sunday. Awake the Lakes is also back Saturday, and this year's edition is meant to focus specifically on music, drawing attention away from the now-retired rib fest to highlight the musical theme with the band festival also in town.
Besides those, a multitude of other events are going on this weekend, from outdoor theatrical performances to a live historical experience at the Runestone Museum.
Friday, June 28
Fargo's Post Traumatic Funk Syndrome, a 12-piece group complete with horns, will perform in the gardens at the Legacy of the Lakes Gardens at 6:30 p.m. for the EdRock outdoor summer concert. Concert-goers should bring their own chairs to the event, which will also feature food trucks and bars.
It is a fundraiser put on by the Alexandria Education Foundation, which provides scholarships, teacher grants and classroom grants. In case of bad weather, the event will move to the Runestone Community Center.
Saturday, June 29
Awake the Lakes music festival returns to town, starting at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, featuring three or four bands. The rib competition was eliminated this year to focus on music. Activities include a bean bag tournament, fireworks, food, a beer garden and live entertainment. Admission is free to the event, located on 2nd Avenue, near Big Ole Park.
Prepare for the parade down Broadway a day early at the Minnesota Drum Corps Premiere! A part of the Vikingland Band Festival, it is held at Alexandria Area High School beginning at 7 p.m. and will feature field exhibition and standstill performances from drum and bugle corps.
Friday-Saturday, June 28-29
This is the last weekend of Fire Pit Productions' showing of "Bleacher Bums." The show is outside at 2214 Geneva Rd NE, starting at 6:30 p.m. both nights, so bring your lawn chair and witness actors portraying die-hard Chicago Cubs fans rooting for their team.
History Live! at Fort Alexandria starts at 11 a.m. both days at the Runestone Museum. Pioneers, fur traders, cowboys, civil war soldiers and other historical figures will be available to teach about how they lived and tell stories of the old days. Families can take part in interactive activities and games, including gunny sack races, Viking games, blacksmith training, clay carving and more. Experience a functional tipi or take a ride in a 24-foot canoe for free.
"It's a great opportunity for kids to do things they normally don't get to do," Amanda Seim, the museum's executive director, said.
Sunday, June 30
The streets of Alexandria will be the loudest they've been in a while for the Vikingland Band Festival Sunday. Twenty high school bands will compete this year in the parade, plus the Alexandria Alumni band will perform. Bring a lawn chair and watch the bands march down Broadway, competing for the grand championship title.
"There are some really wonderful bands; (audiences) will be astounded," coordinator Rhonda Blaser said. "The level of musicianship is very high level."
The 31st annual Vintage car show, held at the Douglas County Fairgrounds, is hosted by the Vintage Car Club of Alexandria. Registration is from 7-11 a.m. and is free for show cars (with donated non-perishable food items). Awards will be presented at 2 p.m. Prize drawings are held every 15 minutes from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.