Williston, N.D. – Band Day 2023 will showcase student and community marching bands and parade entries. For a featured guest band, the committee is looking forward to welcoming the 188th Army Band of the North Dakota Army National Guard and the Denver Broncos Stampede, drumline for the NFL Denver Broncos. This year, Williston Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) and the Band Day Committee are excited to announce a partnership with Williston Area Visual Artists (WAVA) for this year’s Band Day fundraiser.
Beginning in 2017, the Band Day Committee asked the public to turn their artistic efforts into silent auction items in support of the 98-year-old community event. Initially, the assignment was benches. Supporters could build and paint their own, or sign up to paint one constructed by the Williston High School shop class.
In 2019, the committee kept the program but changed the project. Now, artists are invited to transform birdhouses instead. “A smaller project was less intimidating for artists and easier to transport,” commented Communications Coordinator Sabrina Ramey. “And it makes sense to have a several birdhouses in your yard rather than several benches, so more people tend to participate in the auction.”
This year, the committee approached WAVA and asked the members to donate their talents to Band Day. WAVA is a member-based group of local artists who create in a variety of mediums and talents. They individually and collectively exhibit their work at several galleries in northeast Montana and northwest North Dakota and offer skills workshops to members. To-date, five birdhouses from WAVA artists have been donated to the Band Day silent auction, including an American landscape theme by Phyllis Sederquest, a Norwegian turf-roofed house by Cliff Sundt, a Van Gogh inspired house by Daphne Clark, a stars-and-stripes house by Dennis Grondahl and a sunflower cabin contributed by Lily Grondahl.
Another new feature for the 2023 silent auction: a number of birdhouses will be part of packages the public can bid on, instead of only the house. For example, a rock-faced cabin created by Jennifer Strietzel is part of a package that includes equipment rentals, a gift card for a season pass and a night in a cabin at Lewis & Clark State Park, among other items. This birdhouse and its sponsors are featured on the Band Day Facebook page. The other birdhouses will be featured soon, as well as instructions on how to bid on them.
Band Day predates World War II; the festival has evolved and grown over the years in step with the community. Events over Band Day weekend include a parade, concert performances in Harmon Park, food and craft vendor booths, stock car races, car show, the Band Day Mile run and more. For those who would prefer to watch the parade from home, the committee will broadcast the event via Facebook Live again.
Community support for Band Day is needed and appreciated. Donations, sponsorships and volunteers for Band Day are always welcome. Funds raised for Band Day bring professional guest bands to the event, allow the committee to offer mileage to student bands and offset other festival expenses. Band Day always needs more volunteers! Volunteers help organize parade entries in the line-up area, assist visiting bands, and help keep the route orderly, among other tasks.
If you have questions about Band Day 2023, contact the Williston CVB at 701-774-9041 or check the event calendar website for details at www.visitwilliston.com.