Volksfest in Victoria ~ 2014

The band and the breeze under the tent on Saturday, August 16th, provided the best spot in the house during the 90-degree heat at Victoria Volksfest 2014.

Cool things were happening under the tent as the Minnesota Valley Community Band entertained that afternoon.

Maybe the coolest thing occurred when the band played the “Armed Forces Salute” and veterans in the audience were asked to stand up when their song was played.

I saw Dennis Gezel (pictured with his wife Jan) and Harry Winters stand when the band saluted the Army with “The Caisson Song.”  Mr. Gezel was voluntarily drafted into the Army in 1962 and 1963 and served as Military Police.

Mr. Winters was an instructor in the Army Adjutant General Corps stationed in Japan during the Korean War.

Bob Elfering, who served in the Air Force from 1954 to 1957, and Gary Foehringer, an 8-year veteran of the MN Air National Guard, stood when the band played “Off We Go Into the Wild Blue Yonder.”

There were other veterans who were saluted and applauded under the tent that afternoon.  Those who served in the U.S. Navy were saluted with “Anchors Aweigh.”  Veterans of the Coast Guard stood for “Semper Paratus.”

One of the community band members, Brenda Keske of Victoria (pictured above), perhaps had the coolest moment of all, and warmest heart during the “Armed Forces Salute.”  Not only were her parents, veteran Dennis and Jan Gezel, in the audience but also her son Adam, 18, who was leaving in two days for Marine Boot Camp in San Diego.

The band was also adept at polkas, waltzes, and marches.

We spied Mike Wartman, “Former Resident of Victoria,” under the tent with his mother Julianne of Victoria.

Mike and his wife Jodene live in Prior Lake and they’re expecting their first grandchild.

And then it was time to leave the tent.

There were many, many vendors but I only took a picture of Bill McKinney who was selling Fred Plocher’s book, “Stealing Watermelons.”  Fred was at a granddaughter’s wedding.

This year there were at least a dozen inflatable games, lining both side of Tower Boulevard.

All reports indicated that the Art Fair, Games, and Food Vendors were pleased with their results.

There were only a small number of entrants into the bed races but, as usual, there were a large number of Victoria fighters on hand to organize and assist with the event.  The Victoria Fire Dept. sponsors the races.

Some of the firefighters on hand included (front, left to right): Sandy Hanson, Ryan Rivers, Rick Leuthner, Mike Mulheran.  Back:  Craig Peterson, John Wong Dock, Dave Shoger, Dusty Anderson, Brady Lee, and Erik Kemppainen (plaid shorts).

Mark and Mary Kelly of Victoria were in town friends and family.


Till Next Year ...