By Ryan Gueningsman
DELANO, MN The bands are booked and representatives from the six local organizations that make up the Fourth of July Celebration Committee have begun meeting to plan the 2011 celebration.
This year’s celebration will run Friday, July 1 through Monday, July 4, with the grand parade and fireworks taking place Monday, July 4. Bands booked include Butch Automatic, Brat Pack Radio, GB Leighton, and DiamondBack.
Local-favorite Butch Automatic will kick things off in style Friday, July 1.
The eight-piece band of local musicians is one of the best, high-energy classic rock show bands around.
The band covers a wide variety of rock music from the 1960s to the 1980s, and all of the songs on the set list have appeared on Billboard’s top ten.
Butch Automatic also has time-tested, show-stopping productions that make a truly entertaining and memorable event.
GB Leighton will perform for the first time at the Delano Fourth of July Celebration Saturday, July 2.
“This is the only thing I ever wanted to do,” said Brian Leighton. And, 15 years, 3,000 shows, and a dozen discs later, he’s still doing it better than ever before.
The leader and namesake of GB Leighton, who calls himself “a working class kid from a Twin Cities suburb who loves to put on a good show” is arguably the region’s most popular rocker.
His six-piece band performs some 200 shows a year across the Upper Midwest at such varied venues as nightclubs, county fairs, and church festivals.
Leighton has created his own style of heartfelt lyrics and house-rocking rhythms that have made each show an event. Always in the audience are loyal fans dancing, cheering, and singing along as well as new fans discovering the magic of GB Leighton for the first time.
Leighton’s generosity is legendary. He and the band have performed countless benefit concerts over the years for medical research, needy patients, and National Guard members heading off to war.
Long before becoming a cancer survivor himself, Leighton was headlining the annual Randy Shaver Cancer Research and Community Fund benefit.
Whether partying with fans on his annual winter tour to Mexico or singing with the crowd on the dance floor, Leighton is, by his own definition, “a man of the people.”
Brat Pack Radio, which features local drummer Pete Johnson, will perform Sunday, July 3.
Brat Pack Radio is the ultimate ‘80s-90s musical experience. The band will get you rockin’ to those unmistakable beats and sounds, from the hair bands to pop, euro-techno to rock and roll, R&B to new wave, and more no genre is left behind.
Complete with costumes, visual effects, stage props, and audience interaction, the Brat Pack Radio Supershow will transport you back in time and take you on a magical journey you will not soon forget.
This high-energy “pack” of musicians is fronted by Ryan Lance (aka Gilbert Downey Jr.) and Jesse Langseth (Sally Ringwald), American Idol finalist. The performers possess a wide background in musical theater and concert performance.
Lance has recorded seven albums and performed all over the world for over 14 years as a founding member of the nationally known vocal group The Blenders, as well as hundreds of performances as the founder of Brat Pack Radio.
Langseth has vast experience as an original concert touring artist, television and radio personality, and a member of a musical family that includes her brother, Jonny Lang.
Closing things down Monday, July 4 will be country favorite DiamondBack.
DiamondBack consists of four multi-talented musicians, well-known for always learning the “new stuff.”
The band plays a wide variety of music that people of all ages can enjoy. Artists include Garth Brooks, Toby Keith, John Mellencamp, Keith Urban, Kenny Chesney, Johnny Cash, Nickelback, and Metallica, just to name a few.
St. Cloud has been home to DiamondBack since 1998. The band has opened up for national acts such as Jo Dee Messina, Montgomery Gentry, BlackHawk, and Little Texas. DiamondBack has also played the Winstock Country Music Festival in 2006 and 2008.
Along with the top-notch musical entertainment, organizers are proud to be bringing back the ever-popular baseball and softball tournaments, the GoldStar Carnival, fireworks, and plenty of food and beverage options for the entire celebration.
The grand marshal for the parade has yet to be set, and other plans for the celebration remain underway.
The 27th annual 5k race will also be taking place in 2011, with sponsorships and runners presently being sought. In 2009, the course was certified with the USATF, which attracted more runners and brought the event to a higher level.
“We are planning even more upgrades in 2011 to keep runners and their families coming back year-after-year for the quality and fun,” said co-race director Amy Johnson. For more information on the run, contact Johnson at (763) 972-9967.
Changing of the guard
The first meeting of the year for the committee took place Feb. 15, and it was announced a new chairman will be taking over the committee.
Alex Roeser, who had served under Jack Lynch as the vice chairperson of the committee, will be taking over as the new chairman. Joe Tipka will be assuming the role of vice chairman.
“After growing up here as a kid and being a Delano native, my hope is to continue on the traditions of the Fourth of July, but to also continue to grow the event and give it something new every year to make it fun and interesting and to keep people guessing what’s coming next,” Roeser said.
Roeser joined the Fourth of July Celebration Committee in 1997, and became its vice president in 2007. Tipka joined the Fourth of July Committee in 2009. Tim Diem will remain on the board as secretary, and Steve Gilmer will remain as treasurer.
Roeser encouraged people to stay up-to-date on additions to the Fourth of July schedule by checking www.delano4th.com and also by finding the Fourth of July page on Facebook.
“The website is being continuously updated as events are finalized and things are being done,” Roeser said.
There are six organizations that make up the committee the Delano Athletic Club, Delano Lions, Delano Sportsmen’s Club, Delano Jaycees, Delano Area Chamber of Commerce, and Delano American Legion.