Summer parade season has arrived for marching bands across the state, and the Litchfield Marching Dragons will step off at their first parade on Saturday.
To prepare for the competitive parade season, where high school marching bands are judged on a variety of factors, including music, marching, color guard, and general effect, the Litchfield marching band members started practicing in April.
Practices will intensify during band camp this week, Wednesday through Friday. On the second day of band camp, the band will dress in uniform and perform its "Chicago 1930" show for hometown supporters at 7 p.m. Thursday, during its annual Sneak Peek. The band will perform on 10th Street in front of Litchfield High School, and then march around the school's big block.
Prior to the performance, band supporters will sell a meal of pork chop-on-a-stick, chips and water from 5:30 to 7 p.m.
The Sneak Peek performance will be the first time band members will perform in their new uniforms, which replaced their old uniforms that were about 15 years old.
The 125-member band, made up of students in grades ninth through 12th, is under the direction of David Ceasar, with assistance from Kelly Taylor, Litchfield band director, and John Ginocchio, professor of music/director of bands at Southwest Minnesota State University. This year, drum majors are Anni Rogness and Ruby Radunz; guard sergeants are Grace Tepfer and Zach Olson; and drumline captain is George Tepfer.
At the end of June, the band will travel to the East Coast, including stops at Niagra Falls, New York and Pennyslvania. The Marching Dragons will perform in the nationally televised, "Welcome America Parade," at 10 a.m. (CDT) July 4 in Philadelphia.
The band's summer parade schedule:
June 8 - Princeton, 2 p.m.
June 9 - Albertville, 12:30 p.m.
June 13 - Paynesville, 7 p.m.
June 14 - Benson, 6:30 p.m.
June 15 - Owatonna, 11 a.m., and Waconia, 6 p.m.
June 16 - Hutchinson, 1 p.m.
June 18 - Litchfield Parade of Bands, 6 p.m.
June 20 - Milaca, 5:30 p.m.
June 21 - Meeker County Relay For Life, 6 p.m.
June 22 - Glencoe, 11 a.m.
June 24 - Roseville, 6:15 p.m.
July 4 - Philadelphia, 10 a.m.
July 13 - Litchfield Watercade, 6 p.m.