PLEASANT LAKE — The town of Pleasant Lake will host its annual festival this weekend, featuring music on the beach by an Indiana Army National Guard band.
Pleasant Lake Days starts on Friday with a pet and bike parade at 6:20 p.m. Anyone interested in getting involved can contact Cheryl Anstett at 475-5545.
Children on their bikes or with their dressed-up dogs will meet at 6 p.m. at Pleasant Lake Elementary School. If it rains, lineup will be at Steuben Township Fire Department.
The parade will go down Main Street prior to food at the park at 7 p.m., hosted by Pleasant Lake Baptist Church’s women’s group.
Along with the 10:30 a.m. parade on Saturday, a highlight of this year’s festival will be a performance by an Indiana National Guard band named Total Detonation, 3-5 p.m.
Part of the the 38th Infantry Division headquartered in Indianapolis, it is the only military band in the state of Indiana. The band and its many offshoots perform at ceremonies, concerts and parades in both military and civic capacities throughout the state.
Total Detonation is made up of an instrumental horn line, a vocalist and rhythm section.
“They can play pop, rock,” said Sgt. First Class Angela Seeley. She said the show will include a variety of popular music and possibly some Disney hits.
Saturday starts with a pancake and sausage breakfast by Pleasant Lake United Methodist Church, 6:30-9 a.m. along with an 8 a.m. pie sale by the Baptist church.
Bob Anstett and Tracey Stroh — two well-known, long-time Pleasant Lake residents — will be honored as grand marshals of the parade, which starts at 10:30 a.m. on Main Street.
At 11 a.m., the Pleasant Lake Lions Club will serve hamburgers, hot dogs and Powers burgers, then at 11:30 a.m. volleyball and other activities will start in the park. Throughout the day, there will be T-shirt decorating, a water slide and the chance to win a TV in a raffle.
The Pleasant Lake Museum, still under construction at the site of a former diner on Main Street, will be open for the public to peruse. When finished, it will feature displays about important Pleasant Lake figures of the past, including actress Lurene Tuttle, Dale Harpham and Sojourner Truth. There will be a small library and rotating exhibits as well as permanent items.
The fare will be more than old black-and-white photos and yellowing newspapers, said Elten Powers, who heads the nonprofit Pleasant Lake Historical Society. He and a committee from the society have traveled to regional museums and begun forming colorful ideas for interactive displays.
A feature on Harpham, who was the 23rd director of the United States Marine Corp Band, has been designed by Matt Biolchini of Tibbits Opera House of Coldwater, Michigan. The full-color print is 3 feet wide and 8 feet high and tells the story of a local hero.
Harpham moved to Washington D.C. in 1935 after graduating from high school. On July 8, 1935, he was accepted to the Marine Band by then Director Captain Taylor Branson. He was frequently featured as a soloist on the band’s radio broadcasts and was soon advanced to the position of assistant principal trombone.
After years of concerts, tours and White House ceremonies, Harpham began playing a leadership role as leader of the Marine Band’s dance band, as well as conducting the band, orchestra and brass choir at numerous events. He was appointed assistant director of the United States Marine Band May 1, 1955, a post he held until his appointment as 23rd director, April 28, 1972.
As director of the United States Marine Band, Harpham served as musical advisor to the White House and conducted the Marine Band at numerous White House and state functions, including the inauguration of President Richard Nixon, a special performance by the orchestra in Yugoslavia at the President’s request, and a performance at President Nixon’s home in San Clemente, California. He retired as a lieutenant colonel on Oct. 31, 1974, after 39 years of service.
During Pleasant Lake Days on Saturday, Ted Alleshouse will provide music noon to 2 p.m.
Later in the afternoon, while Total Detonation lights up the shore of Pleasant Lake with sound, the elementary booster club will offer concessions.
The festival wraps up with fireworks over the lake at dark, provided by Mark White.