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When traveling through main street Brandt last Saturday morning, you would never realize that the town has a population just over 100. People in their lawn chairs lined the street with a cool beverage in one hand and a camera in the other. They were in town for the 125th Celebration Parade, but that wasn’t the only attraction in Brandt that weekend.
The celebration started off Friday with the Miss Brandt Pageant held in the Highland Lutheran Church. 17 girls in three different age groups strutted their stuff down the runway. A talent competition was held during the pageant for those girls who were interested. Morgan Kjenstad came away with the crown and title of Miss Brandt, Krista Harringa won Junior Miss Brandt, and Hadyn Weisner’s name was drawn for Li’l Miss Brandt. With a big smile and a multicultural twist on a popular tune, little Mia Berndt was the winner of the talent competition.
After the crowns had been presented and the photos snapped, everyone headed down to the auditorium for some laughs. Comedian Susan Vass along with The Church Ladies provided the entertainment for the rest of Friday night, followed by an amazing fireworks display put on by the Town of Brandt. Many in attendance stated that the display rivaled that of a larger town such as Watertown or even Sioux Falls!
Saturday morning everyone was bright eyed and bushy tailed (or maybe not…) at the Pancake Feed sponsored by the Brandt Fire Department. The parade followed soon after and was a major highlight of the weekend. Over 100 entries made their way down main street throwing candy, cozies, and coins. The Brandt Cafe had lunch available for a very reasonable price, and celebration goers spent the rest of the day socializing in the sun. A beanbag tournament was definitely the main event of the day with 30 teams competing, followed by a homing pigeon race and the ever popular “Tootsie Pageant.” A reunion was held for those who graduated from Brandt High School. The day came to an end with everyone getting their groove on at the dance.
A Sunday morning service was highly attended at the Highland Lutheran Church. After a morning of songs and worship, everyone headed down to the newly remodeled Fire Hall where a pork loin sandwich feed was held. The vault was cracked open and remnants of the past were brought back to life. A few items included were the centennial flag, old newspapers, and a picture of the youngest resident in town during the Centennial Celebration Lindsey Kleinjan (Kjenstad).
Following all the excitement, the town of Brandt settled back in to something familiar. Softball. Both young and old were involved in the softball games of Sunday afternoon. Young teams from Clear Lake started the day, but a Co-Ed round robin took up most of the day. Whether you were 19 or only thought you were 19, you could take part in the games. 4 teams were involved, including teams of two local families. The theme for the day was “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” Pictures of past and present teams filled the picnic shelter, along with a ridiculous amount of trophies. Brandt All-Stars were honored at the reunion, and Jim Anderson threw out an honorary pitch.
Today Brandt is back to normal. The only ballgames are held on Tuesday nights and the beanbags have been packed away, but residents of the town will probably never forget the 125th Celebration and are already looking forward to 25 years from now.