Weather Forecast


Nester, Fly make 'Grande' representatives

This year’s Woodbury Days Grande Parade grand marshals both understand showmanship – just from different perspectives.

The community grand marshal will be 7-year-old Grace Nester, a New Life Academy student who holds the title of National American Miss Minnesota Princess.

Meanwhile, the celebrity grand marshal will be popular Twin Cities radio DJ Tony Fly, whose new television show recently debuted.

Fly, an Oakdale resident, was chosen for his neighborly ties to the Woodbury area, said Woodbury Days parade coordinator Rich Sommer.

Joining Fly will be members from his new TV show, “On the Fly.”

Fly joked that the last time he remembers riding slowly in a car was as a teenager cruising for girls – a situation he said turned out “horribly” – so he said he is now excited to give it another try.

“Now, as a respected TV host, father and husband, I’ll be able to enjoy the people waving back and smiling,” Fly said. “It’ll be a new feeling. Thanks, Woodbury!”

His show, airing weeknights on My29, features Fly interacting with Fox 9 Morning News reporter Kelsey Soby and sidekick Dan Edwards.

The show’s Facebook page describes it as “a genre-busting mix of trending stories, viral videos, unexpected guests via emerging technologies and innovative viewer interaction.”

Nester provides a much different presence.

Sommer said her family had reached out to Woodbury Days in hopes of securing a float in the parade. Considering her accomplishment, Sommer said committee members decided she shouldn’t just have any old place in the parade.

“It’s a nice gesture to make her the community grand marshal,” he said.

Since Nester will be representing Minnesota – and Woodbury – at the National American Miss Princess competition this November, the committee decided to spotlight her as a local diplomat.

Nester’s mother, Deona Nester, said the distinction is an honor for the family and Grace, who “feels very lucky” to be selected as grand marshal.

“We’re just very proud of Grace,” she said. “We’re amazed at the things she’s accomplished at this age.”

Kicking off at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 25, the parade will spend about two hours traversing the parade route, which begins at Afton and Steepleview roads. The parade route heads south on Queens Drive to Kings Drive, before turning west on Courtly Road.

The parade reaches the home stretch at Ojibway Drive, where it cuts south on its way into the park, where it terminates.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

(715) 426-1072