Marching band takes first in Long Prairie

This article submitted by Michael Jacobson on 6/23/99.

The Paynesville Area Marching Band took first place Saturday night at the Prairie Days Parade in Long Prairie.

Competing among the Class A schools, Paynesville scored 82.5 to beat Benson by 1.4 points. Milaca was third with 80.7.

In Class AA, Alexandria won with the day's highest score of 87.6.

Paynesville had the second highest score overall.

The band marches tonight in Foley at 7 p.m. On Saturday, they march in St. Cloud at 10 a.m., and on Sunday in Alexandria at 1:30 p.m.

Director Bryan Mara said the band would be having extra rehearsal tomorrow to prepare for the Alexandria parade, which he likened to a state competition. "This is the big championship that we work towards," he said.

The band leaves next week for a week-long tour to Boston and New York.

Band trailer
Band trailer The Lions Clubs of Lake Henry, Paynesville, and St. Martin donated $6,500 to purchase and paint a trailer for the band to use for travel during their parade season. The trailer arrived just in time for the first parade in Buffalo on June 12.

"Basically, we just wanted something that would carry our instruments and be a little safer," said Mara. Previously, the only trailer available was a horse trailer.

Plans are to outfit the trailer with removable shelves, made to store certain instruments. The trailer could also be used to carry luggage for other school trips.

During parades, a school bus pulls the trailer behind the band. "It's nice to have the trailer back there so people have an extra chance to see the town's name," said Mara.

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