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Popular Minn. Parade Band’s Nearly $50K Float Stolen

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(credit: CBS) Mike Binkley
Mike Binkley has been covering Minnesota news for more than 25 year...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A popular parade band may have to go silent this summer because its float has gone missing.

The custom float that takes the Zuhrah Shrine Steel Drum Band to parades around the state was stolen this weekend, which means they could miss parades in more than a dozen communities this summer.

The sounds of the islands come alive when Dave Hanson plays the steel drums. He’s the director of the Zuhrah Shrine Steel Drum Band, a fixture at parades around the state.

“We have parades lined up for this summer,” he said, “all the way from Isanti down to Forest Lake, out to Litchfield, down to Le Sueur.”

But the band may now be stuck at home.

“We’ve got the van to do parades,” band member Keith Braidy said, “but we can’t just do parades with a van, with no place to play the instruments.”

The van and float were parked side-by-side at the lodge on Friday night in Crystal. But when band members arrived for practice on Saturday morning, it was gone.

“We’re asking for the surrounding public to help us,” said Braidy.

It’s a 40-foot-long white aluminum trailer customized with a new green canopy, generator, sound system and lights to play at night. So, the replacement cost is hefty.

“The total cost was probably around $46,000 to $47,000 is what we’ll have to come up with,” said Hanson.

But the cost of not replacing it is even harder to estimate.

“I just have to apologize to everybody that we’re not going to be in your town for parades unless we come up with an alternative,” he said.

The first parade they might have to miss is Heritage Days in Faribault on June 21.

You can help police locate the white trailer with a light green canopy and the license number is CAT-8039. If you have any information, Crystal Police want you to call 911.

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