Always the last Sunday
Vikingland Band Festival : 2021 Grand Marshals
Bruce and Kathleen Pohlig named Grand Marshals of 2021 Vikingland Band Festival
ALEXANDRIA, MN (May 25, 2021) The Vikingland Band Festival committee is proud to announce that Bruce and Kathleen Pohlig have been named grand marshals of Alexandria's 37th Annual Vikingland Band Festival, which is set to return as an in-person event on Sunday, June 27.
The Pohligs were selected for the honor because of their long record of leadership, volunteer work and support throughout the community. Their involvement has touched school music programs, arts organizations, Alexandria Public Schools and numerous non-profit groups.
Committee chair Greg DeGier said, "Bruce and Kathleen are truly remarkable citizens who help make good things happen for Alexandria. We strive to recognize people who have made contributions to music, youth or the community, and the Pohligs have impacted all three areas. They are so gracious and often work quietly in the background, so we are thrilled to recognize and thank them for their efforts."
Together, the Pohligs worked to raise more than $2 million toward the construction of the new Alexandria Area High School, and directly supported the purchase of special acoustic flooring in the band and orchestra rooms. They also made donations through the Alexandria Education Foundation for the purchase of band and orchestra instruments and a new piano for the choir room. Most recently, the Pohligs helped raise more than $400,000 to ensure that Andria Theatre would survive the pandemic.
Their children, Christine, Jeff and Rebecca, all participated in various school music programs, with both daughters performing in the marching band during major national trips. Bruce and Kathleen served on the Vikingland Band Festival committee in the '90s during the inception of the drum & bugle corps field competition.
Kathleen Pohlig served three terms on the Alexandria School Board, chaired the Alexandria Festival of the Lakes chamber music series for more than 20 years, and currently operates Cherry Street Books in downtown Alexandria.
Bruce Pohlig led Continental Bridge for many successful years, producing bridges that are now found in thousands of locations across the country. He has also worked with Habitat for Humanity and currently chairs the Community Giving Board in St. Cloud which is the umbrella organization for the Alexandria Area Community Foundation.
Last year's Vikingland Band Festival was canceled due to the pandemic, and most marching bands across Minnesota missed an entire season of training, recruiting and performing. Details for the 2021 season have been uncertain even until this month when restrictions and health guidance began to ease.
"The past year has been extremely challenging for band directors and students," DeGier said. "This year's parade will be a celebration of the resilient students and directors who have been able to emerge from the pandemic."
As grand marshals, the Pohligs will lead the Vikingland Band Festival parade on Broadway featuring nearly 1,500 performers beginning at 1:30 PM on Sunday, June 27.
For more information and updates visit VikinglandBandFestival.com and follow the Vikingland Band Festival on Facebook.