The Rose Bowl comes to Rosemount
The city of Rosemount rolled out an appropriately rose-red carpet Friday for the man who brought a much-anticipated invitation for the Rosemount High School marching band.
R. Scott Jenkins and his wife, Cindy, were the guests of honor at a pep fest to celebrate the band's invitation to march in the Tournament of Roses parade in January in Pasadena, Calif. Jenkins is this year's Tournament of Roses president.
The Friday morning event included performances by the RHS band as well as comments from band director Steve Olsen, RHS principal John Wollersheim, District 196 superintendent Jane Berenz — herself a former RHS marching band member — Rosemount mayor Bill Droste and Minnesota Rep. Anna Wills. There was also a video message from U.S. Sen. Al Franken before the crowd of current and former marching band members, parents and other community members heard from Jenkins.
Jenkins told the crowd about how bands are selected for the parade as well as what students can expect when they make the trip to California for the New Year's Day event. He told a story about a man who was a gang member in high school and credited his experience preparing for and marching in the parade with turning his life around. The man now owns several restaurants and other businesses in Tucson, Ariz.
Friday's event helped ratchet up excitement for an event that has has band members and others at RHS talking for months.
"It's a dream come true for us," RHS drum major Tony Hanto said.
In addition to the Friday pep fest Jenkins took a tour of Rosemount and spent time Saturday packing meals with band members at Feed My Starving Children before officially presenting the invitation to the parade at the Drum Corps. International show Saturday at TCF Bank Stadium.