Wow! The Pote’s Parade in Pipestone was everything I hoped for and dreamed it could be! The turnout of Shriners was amazing as nearly every unit and club was on the street. Speaking of streets, they were lined with crowds of people eager to see what these Shriners can do, parade wise. And El Riad Shrine did not disappoint! We heard so many positive responses from the locals, they loved us! It was a heart warming day to be a Shriner. Thanks to all who participated! I want to especially thank my Chief of Staff and Asst. COS John Schuety and Brian Schultz for organizing the parade and helping our Chief Pote’s Aide with Oasis bar set up and take down. My Chief Pote’s Aide, Ethan Serck for the Oasis bar and all that it entails. The Culinary unit for their dedication and hard work behind the scenes, getting the oasis set up, cooking, serving, and tear down. The Pixels group of Shelby DeVries and Jane Anderson for taking some great photos. And a hats off to the Pipestone Jaycees and specifically, Cody Heidebrink for letting us use their facility at the Pipestone Co. Fairgrounds, and for providing porta potties. I am truly proud and humbled to be your Potentate and this was the highlight of my year, so far!

Here is an excerpt from the Pipestone County Star, the local newspaper, which was published the week before the Pipestone Watertower Festival:

“Pipestone’s 32nd Annual Water Tower Festival is coming up Thursday, July 29 through Sunday Aug. 1. This years theme is ‘Wild about Pipestone!’ Pipestone Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Erica Volkir said the theme encompasses the jungle and a love for the community. One ‘wild’ feature that’s new this year is the El Riad Shrine’s ‘Pote’s Parade’ that will be part of the Water Tower Festival parade on Saturday. The Shrine plans to bring parade units including mini sprint cars, a motor corps, clowns, a fife and drum corps, an oriental band, provosts, classic automobiles, chanters, hillbillies, rickshaws, a steel drum band, Harley Davidson Motorcycles, miniature Model T cars, a motorized boat, a train and possibly more. The various parade units participate in parades around the Sioux Falls area and once a year the Shrine takes all of them to one parade. Former Pipestone resident Les Kruse achieved the title of Potentate of the El Riad Shrine Temple in Sioux Falls after serving nine years on the Shrine leadership ladder, and one of the perks of the position, he said, is the the potentate chooses the location of the Pote’s Parade. ‘I chose Pipestone because I grew up here,’ Kruse said. ‘Class of 1970.’ He said Pipestone area businesses have always been very supportive of the El Riad Shrine by purchasing tickets for the local elementary students to attend the Shrine Circus for free, so the Shrine wanted to give back to the community too. Kruse said he’ll be riding in front of the Shrine’s portion of the parade in a convertible. ‘We’re super excited and honored that they chose our community, Volkir said.”

As I write this article we are heading to Sioux City for another great Shrine get together at the Midwest Shrine Association summer gathering, with competitions, and parades. I’m confident that once again, the El Riad Shrine will make us all proud to be members. More info and photos in the next edition of the Cactus.

Also coming up is the Shrine Cup, the Shrine Football game, the Monster Truck Show, the Nobles Party and more! Please see the flyers in this Cactus for more information. That’s all for now, so please, participate when and where you can, and be sure to “Have Fun in ’21”.