ST. PAUL – State Rep. Dean Urdahl, R-Acton Township, has written a letter to Gov. Tim Walz urging him to allow high school marching bands to perform in public streets.
Executive orders issued by the governor in response to COVID-10 currently prohibit bands from performing road shows. With the summer parade schedule soon starting, Urdahl said it is important to address this issue now before bands are sidelined for a second-consecutive season.
Urdahl’s letter to the governor touts marching bands as a great source of pride in many towns. It reads, in part:
“Band students develop a great sense of teamwork, self-worth and work ethic through their participation in the marching band program. They lost last year completely and losing another year of involvement in this life defining activity would be very unfortunate.
“I have heard from mayors and dozens of parents who are concerned about marching bands and the impact of closing them down has on young people. I respectfully ask you to please allow them to use city streets to perform.”
Urdahl himself is a former member of the Litchfield High School marching band and said, with COVID-19 numbers down and vaccinations numbers rising, allowing road shows would be one more viable step toward returning to life as “normal.”
“We’ve been through a lot the last year and, while many of us have had to put certain things on hold, a number of experiences our children sadly have missed out on are truly once-in-a-lifetime opportunities,” Urdahl said. “We can’t turn back the clock, but we should be doing all we can to make sure they are able to take advantage of what may remain before them.”