By Brianna Mathias
HOWARD LAKE, MN Munson Lakes Nutrition General Manager, John Zander was chosen as grand marshal for the Good Neighbor Days Parade, which took place June 26.
Zander said this experience, though surprising, was a positive one for him.
“It caught me right out of the blue,” Zander said. “I was very surprised at first. The first thing I thought was, ‘isn’t that for old people?’ But then I looked in the mirror and realized that maybe I am an old person.”
All jokes aside, Zander said being chosen made him feel good, and that it was an honor to be able to promote his town.
Zander was born and raised in Howard Lake. He grew up on his family’s farm, among five other siblings. Four out of the six kids still live in Howard Lake, along with their parents.
Munson Lakes Nutrition, formerly Munson Feed, has been Zander’s workplace for 34 years.
“Munson is one of the bigger businesses in Howard Lake,” Zander said. “We like to employ local people, and promote anything that has to do with Howard Lake. We’re happy to support the schools, the town, anything.”
In addition to work, Zander enjoys golfing, fishing, and playing cards. He said when his kids were younger, he actively participated in youth sports.
“I was a part of the travelling baseball team for 15 or 16 years,” Zander said. “I also helped with traveling basketball, and I still volunteer as the assistant coach for the varsity basketball team.”
Zander said being the grand marshal was his first experience of ever being in a parade.
“The parade was fun,” Zander said. “I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it was a lot more fun than I thought it would have been.”
With longtime buddies watching him in the crowd, Zander said he had a great time laughing and waving.
“It made me laugh when I heard people whisper, ‘who’s John Zander,’ but it was fun to represent Howard Lake in the parade,” Zander said.
Though he was confused as to why he was chosen, Zander was very happy to lead the parade.
“Howard Lake is a good place to live,” Zander said. “I want to promote it in any way possible.”