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Wood Duck Festival attracts plenty

Director Mike Peterson (left) leads the Fulda High School Raider Marching Band down Main Street during Saturday night's parade in Fulda.1 / 2
Young members of St. Paul's Lutheran Church ride on the float during Saturday evening's Wood Duck Days in Fulda.2 / 2

FULDA - Lions and princesses and tractors -- oh, my!

As morning rain and thunderclouds gave way to a perfect mid-June evening, the Fulda Wood Duck Festival was the beneficiary, with hundreds of southwest Minnesotans turning out to stroll the sunlit streets of Fulda Saturday evening.

The 6 p.m. parade -- following the festival's 2013 theme "Woody Roars for the Lions" -- was an evening highlight, with roughly 70 parade entries and a plethora of candy on hand to delight the crowds.

In honor of the Fulda Lions Club's 50th year, numerous Lions Club members from surrounding communities turned up, including representatives from Milroy, Luverne, New Ulm and Jasper. Also present were the 2013-14 Lions District Governor from Jackson, John Myers, and the 2014-15 Lions District Vice Governor, David Laechel, of Jeffers.

The visiting Lions let out literal "roars" of approval from a flatbed float as they made their way down Fulda's North St. Paul Avenue, eliciting fist pumps and applause from spectators, but the princesses -- including Nobles County Dairy Princesses Kaylene DeBoer and Justyce Voss, and Miss Fulda representatives Laura Williams, Kelsey Heppler and Micaela Paulzine -- received special attention.

"All the little kids waved at me, and even the adults were getting into it," said Voss, who was participating in the second parade of her Dairy Princess reign. "It's a lot easier to be active riding along when the people are more responsive, and there were a lot of people out there and it was a good-sized parade."