Nine students made BLC Studios history this weekend when they helped with a live-to-tape broadcast of the North Mankato Fun Days Parade.

The weather on the day of the parade was damp, but it did nothing to lessen the enthusiasm of the broadcast crew which consisted of a mix of students, some veterans from the hockey broadcast, and others who are relatively new to live productions.

The City of North Mankato offered the intersection of Belgrade Avenue and Center Street for the production stage, and also provided a small flatbed trailer for the on air talent. A four-camera production was set up, including a camera on the roof of the Brandt Building for aerial shots.

Hosting the event were Don Westphal and Jim Whitlock, providing commentary for the bands, floats, and other attractions going by.

The production offered a great opportunity for students to practice their skills in a real world (and minimal stress) environment. Most BLC productions are indoors where weather isn’t a problem. Out on the street, the rain and the wind created new challenges. Extra sandbags and clamps were needed for the umbrellas and backdrops. Gear needed to be protected from the rain–Garbage bags helped to weatherise some of the equipment.

Even the BLC staff learned some things.

“You plan everything out, but until you actually get down there and start doing the show, you just have no idea what might go wrong,” said Studio Production Specialist, Philip Wels. “And then it’s, ‘oh, I guess this doesn’t work if it’s windy.’ So you make something else work.”

The parade ended with a short lived downpour scattering floats and parade watchers alike.

A diverse portfolio of work closely follows Bethany’s liberal arts philosophy. By providing students with all kinds of different opportunities to try new things, or put their skills to use in a slightly more challenging environment goes a long way to prepare them for job options in the future. BLC Studios hopes to continue finding unique production opportunities in the future.

The video is free to watch on the BLC Vimeo page and will be broadcast on the local Community Access Television channel in the coming weeks.