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Thunder of Drums to return for 30th performance

The Kiwanis Thunder of Drums event is finally celebrating its 30th show after being postponed for two years by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Published: Jun. 15, 2022 at 6:52 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 15, 2022 at 8:38 PM CDT
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - For the first time in three years, Blakeslee Stadium will soon be filled with the sound of drums.

Thunder of Drums had its first performance in 1991, and its 30th anniversary show was pushed back twice due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

But the celebration is ready to finally get underway on July 12.

“We thought, of course, when everything got shut down in 2020 by COVID, we thought ‘well, we’ll be back in 2021.’ Well we weren’t, and ever since we got shut down we’ve had folks, you know fans, we’ve had sponsors, we’ve had all kinds of people saying ‘when will Thunder of Drums be back?’ And we were so relieved and elated to be able to tell all of our fans and our sponsors that we’re back here in 2022,” organizer Doug Faust said.

The yearly concert benefits local youth programs and the Mankato 77 Lancers Marching Band.

When it started, however, it was a one-off performance for a traveling drum and bugle corps, but the event’s success led to its return year after year.

“We never really thought how long it would run. Our expectation was ‘hey, we had a good year, we’re going to have another good year next year,’ and we had 29 consecutive years,” said Howard Haugh, who has been with the event since its inception.

After the hiatus, organizers say they’re ready to retake their place within the community.

“We’re excited to bring the show here this year because it’s something that had become kind of an institution here in the community,” Faust said.

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