For their 95th anniversary, the St. Peter-based Govenaires Drum and Bugle Corps have decided to include some local events on their schedule this summer. One being the North Mankato Fun Days Parade which took place on Saturday.
Due to a combination of the pandemic and an unfortunate schedule, the body has not participated in the Fun Days Parade since around 2016. But after being inundated with requests to return to the event, the Govenaires co-director , Mike Hanzelka, said he had to add it. on their schedule.
“We are a group that mainly does field exhibitions,” he said. “But we’re really excited to finally come back and do something near our hometown. The field exhibits are cool, but the local events are what really matters.
The crowd seemed to agree as they clapped and cheered as Les Govenaires passed.
Abby Erickson, mum of 2, said her kids loved it. From his father’s lap, his youngest son waved to the Govenaires when he saw them coming.
“We’re coming from out of town to visit a family friend for the weekend,” the Rosemount native said. “We heard that Fun Days was a good place to bring the kids and I’m glad we got there early enough to watch the parade. It was really nice.
The annual parade consisted of around 90 floats from different businesses, non-profit organizations, religious organizations and around 9 groups this year.
As the tanks passed, sweets were thrown into the crowd. The children happily agreed, running down the road to recover as much as they could.
With so many participants and spectators that Fun Days receives, Jolinda Grabianowski, event committee member and parade chair, said their top priority this year is safety.
“We took all the necessary steps to make sure we were going to have a really nice, smooth parade,” she said. “We wanted it to be fun for the spectators and fun for everyone in the parade. We have done everything to make it a safe, family and fun event.
The rest of the annual Saturday summer celebration consisted of a horseshoe tournament, carnival, bingo, bean bag tournament, Mankato Baltics vintage baseball game and a live musical performance by the Pop Rocks.