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KTD parade to feature seven marching bands

Members of the Worthington High School Marching Band make a turn from Clary Street onto Marine Avenue during a Thursday morning rehearsal for Saturday's King Turkey Day Parade. (RYAN McGAUGHEY/DAILY GLOBE)

WORTHINGTON -- A forecast of cool temperatures and light showers should prove no deterrent for Saturday's King Turkey Day parade, and certainly not for the seven area marching bands prepared to step in time down Worthington's 10th Street.

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"Cooler weather is a benefit for marchers," assured Worthington Middle School (WMS) band director Mike Andersen, who will lead his 160 sixth- through eighth-grade instrumentalists and color guard members in a peppy rendition of "Star Trek: The Next Generation."

Meanwhile, the 130-student strong Worthington High School (WHS) marching band, under the baton of Jon Loy, will deliver for a hometown crowd the first fall performance of "Over the Rooftops," its Mary Poppins-themed parade show that gained the group many awards last year.

"This is our 'encore' season of that show, and next Saturday we'll be defending our sweepstakes title at the Waseca Marching Band Classic," detailed Loy, noting Turkey Day marks just the start of his band's competitive fall season.

"Performing in the King Turkey Day parade is a great way to not just share our parade show product but also to say thanks to the community for their support," Loy added.

Loy helped arrange for the participation of several other regional bands in the local parade, including those from Central Lyon Middle School, Adrian High School, Fulda High School, West Central High School (of Hartford, S.D.) and Luverne High School.

"This will be the Luverne band's first appearance in the King Turkey Day parade for many years," noted Loy. "We are glad to welcome them back."

Although the overall number of entries in the parade is down somewhat from previous years, Loy guarantees spectators will be happily entertained.

"Seven marching bands fit nicely with the total parade entry count, because we try to get at least 10 other entries between bands to allow for the sound," explained Loy.

"And there are a few other smaller bands in the lineup, too, like the Martin County Brass and the El Riad Shrine Steel Drum Band."

For those who want to be sure to hear and see the marching bands' full performances, Loy recommends strategically selecting one's parade-watching spot.

"The judging area is right in front of the hospital," hinted Loy, adding that parade band judges are Brent Turner of Apple Valley and Matt Kettlehut of Eden Prairie.

"The other places we'll play are near the government center and just after the post office, and we may do the show more along the route, but for sure in the vicinity of those sites," he detailed.

Because the WMS and WHS bands are considered hosts, they will be judged but considered exhibition only; awards will be given to the guest bands for first and second place in Class A, Class B and Class Middle School, as well as for categories including Outstanding Drum Major, Outstanding Winds, Outstanding Drum Line, Outstanding Color Guard and overall People's Choice.

The "Star Trek" music the WMS band will march to was arranged by Andersen himself, while the drum line feature was designed by former District 518 student teacher Brett Kroeger. Worthington High School 2012 alumna Emily Anderson created the WMS color guard routine.

Loy credits community volunteers Jon and Barb Wendt with providing support with set crew efforts and overall band assisting duties this year.

"Because of our high numbers, their help has been invaluable," said Loy, noting his student band commanders for 2013 are seniors Jaren Solt, Jeremy Majerus and Alex Purdy and junior Brianna Kempema.

Following next Saturday's appearance at Waseca, the WHS marching band season will continue at the Luverne Tri-State Band Festival on Sept. 28, with the Lake Area Festival of Bands (Chester, S.D. on Oct. 4), the Algona Band Days (Algona, Iowa, on Oct. 5) and the Anoka Halloween Parade (Oct. 26) still ahead.

"We're happy to have the chance to perform for the hometown crowd," said Loy of the King Turkey Day parade.