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Tri-State Band Festival provides musical thrills

LUVERNE -- Color and musical flair were the name of the game Saturday at the 67th annual Tri-State Band Festival in Luverne. Whether it was the scarlet tunics and yellow-orange flags of Murray County Central's "Kung Fu Fighting" color guard, the ...

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The Spirit of Worthington Trojan Marching Band performs Saturday at the Tri-State Band Festival in Luverne. (Tim Middagh / The Globe)

LUVERNE - Color and musical flair were the name of the game Saturday at the 67th annual Tri-State Band Festival in Luverne.

 

Whether it was the scarlet tunics and yellow-orange flags of Murray County Central’s “Kung Fu Fighting” color guard, the red, white and blue of Adrian’s band that complemented its patriotic parade medley or the neon pink, green and yellow leggings adorning the legs of Yankton, S.D.’s “Celebration” dancers, Luverne’s Main Street was awash with vibrancy and musicianship that distracted from cloudy gray skies above.

 

“We love bands,” declared Anne Breuker, an attentive spectator from Sibley, Iowa, who eagerly absorbed the scenic spectacle along with her husband, Frank.

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“But we really just came to see Worthington,” she confided.

 

And the “Spirit of Worthington” Trojan Marching Band, continuing the 2017 competitive parade season with its “Hooray for Hollywood!” show, didn’t disappoint the Breukers or anyone else, as evidenced by their winning the People’s Choice Award for parade bands.

 

“They had amazing energy and everyone is giving 110 percent,” said director Jon Loy of his 160-plus band members.

 

Further backing up Loy’s claim was the Trojans’ first-place finish in the Class AAA parade category, with the Worthington musicians topping bands from Sioux Falls Christian, Stewartville and Yankton for that distinction.

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A festive atmosphere pervaded the parade route, with Tri-State Band Festival volunteers peddling programs and buttons, coffee shops touting caffeinated wares and proud parents from all 18 participating parade bands wearing shirts broadcasting their respective loyalties.

 

“I come to support our community and see the bands,” said Pat Weerheim, a Luverne resident who has been a Tri-State Band Festival parade regular for at least eight years.

 

“I love seeing the different bands and how well they do, and I’m really impressed with the variety of shows and the kids’ effort - but my favorite band is Luverne,” she said, faithfully sticking by her hometown ensemble.

 

The colors continued processing by, with Tracy’s instrumentalists sporting red jackets with matching plumes and bright blue trousers and Sioux Falls Christian’s color guard displaying frothy blue and white skirts for that school’s Gershwin-themed parade tune.

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A Stewartville mom revealed those southeastern Minnesota band die-hards loaded their buses at 4:45 a.m. Saturday. They joined the WHS band in traveling to the Algona (Iowa) Band Day parade in the afternoon, while 15 other bands remained in Luverne for the afternoon’s Tri-State field show contest.

 

Unfortunately for Stewartville, the Trojans again bested them in Algona, with the “Spirit of Worthington” getting the nod for first place in the parade’s Open Division and the Parade Sweepstakes Award besides.

 

“If anyone doubts what can be accomplished with a team effort, just take a look at the Trojan band, with everyone working together to get through two parades in two states in a matter of hours,” commended Loy.

 

“And to come out on top at both festivals is terrific, especially right after homecoming week.”

 

This coming Saturday, the Trojans and 29 other regional bands will show their stuff at the Sioux Falls Festival of Bands Parade, which kicks off at 8:30 a.m. on Dakota Avenue in downtown Sioux Falls.

 

Attendees can expect to be as energized by the visual and aural delights there as the Breukers were last weekend in Luverne.

 

“Aren’t you glad we came?” inquired Anne Breuker of her husband after another polished band passed by their Luverne sidewalk perch.

 

“Oh, I’m so glad,” he heartily agreed.

Results from the 2017 Tri-State Band Festival:

 

Parade Class A: Sioux Falls Christian, first; Murray County Central (MCC), second. Class AA: West Central, first; Sheldon, second. Class AAA: WHS, first; Stewartville, second. Class AAAA: Sioux Falls Lincoln, first; Brandon Valley, second. Parade sweepstakes: Sioux Falls Lincoln. Parade People’s Choice: WHS.

 

Field Class A: West Lyon, first; Sibley-Ocheyedan, second. Class AA: Lennox, first; Pipestone Area, second. Class AAA: O’Gorman, first; Huron, second. Class AAAA: Sioux Falls Lincoln, first; Brandon Valley, second.

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