Strike Up the Bands; Owatonna Marching Band Festival is Saturday
It's back in its usual grandeur. The Harry Wenger Marching Band Festival is Saturday, June 18 in Owatonna. Ten bands are participating according to the festival's website. The event begins at 11 am and has three viewing locations.
The festival, which was canceled in 2020 and held with a limited audience in 2021, starts at Lincoln and Prospect. The bands will march north on Lincoln and turn left on Main. Viewing stations are on Lincoln by Trinity Lutheran Church and by the Pillsbury campus. Spectators can also watch downtown at Elm and Main.
Bands scheduled to appear are 728 Cadets, Two Rivers, Waconia, Winona Cotter, Champlin Park, Richfield, Worthington, Lake City, Dassel-Cokato, and Owatonna.
In a welcome announcement on the website, festival president Leslea Partridge writes, "We are very excited to have you join us for the annual Harry Wenger Marching Band Festival. We truly believe we can offer your students a fantastic educational experience here at our festival. We also know your parents and fans will enjoy the many assets and amenities Owatonna has to offer."
"We believe the competitive parade activity is a very beneficial one to young people. We also know it takes a lot of hard work to prepare for the season," she added.
Owatonna's festival is teaming up with the Lake Waconia Band Festival to present the Owat-onia Grand Champion of the Day Award.
The festival is named in honor of Wenger, a band director in Owatonna during the mid-1940s known as the "Music Man." He saw a need for good equipment for students in band and began in his basement what became Wenger Corporation.