Rain stops, music begins

Marching bands return to Granite Falls for Western Fest Grand Parade

Photo by Mike Lamb The Benson High School Marching Band stops on the parade route to put on a side show for the crowd lined up to watch Saturday’s Western Fest Grand Parade

GRANITE FALLS — As the 1 p.m. starting time for Saturday’s Western Fest Grand Parade approached, Dassel-Cokato High School Marching Band Director Jake Pavia had to make a big decision.

With a light rain falling on Granite Falls, Pavia was concerned about the possibility of the instruments getting wet.

“Woodwinds (family of instruments) are affected the rain,” Pavia said. “It (rain) can damage the instruments pretty severely. So we had to kind of judge if it would slow down enough so we can do the whole show. Near the beginning it was kind of lightening up so we were like, ‘OK, we’ll do the full show.’

“Woodwinds got their stuff out of the bus. We did a couple pep tunes, did some cadences and the band was able to adapt to that. They had fun with it,” he added.

Marching bands from three other schools brought music back to Granite Falls streets after last year’s Western Fest was canceled because of the COVID pandemic. The Albany Marching Band, the Benson Marching Band and the Fergus Falls Marching Band all participated in entertaining the parade crowd.

Besides the marching bands, Highlanders of the North Marching Bagpipers and the Minnesota “Over 60” Band also provided lots of music.


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