WINSTED, MN According to Lisa Baumann, “When Jeff Campbell reached out to ask me and Rick if we would be grand marshals [for Winsted’s 31st Winter Festival], we laughed and said, ‘Why us?’”
It’s unlikely that anyone else is asking that question, as the Baumanns have been actively involved in, and contributing to the Winsted community in many ways since they moved to the city in 1998.
“We had decided we would rather live in a small town versus closer to the metro,” said Lisa, who grew up in Winsted and served as Winsted Ambassador in ‘93-’94.
When she and Rick bought their first home in Winsted, she said, “I knew I wanted to give back to the town that gave me so much.”
Since then, Lisa has served on the Winsted Ambassador Committee, as well as the Winsted Festival Committee, and has been a long time leader of the Lakes and Prairies Girl Scout Program.
Within the festival committee, she has performed a wide variety of roles, including organizing children’s games and helping with food stands. She and Rick also organized the Summer Festival canoe race for a few years.
Rick, who grew up in Lester Prairie, is a fifth grade teacher at Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted Middle School, as well as president of the Winsted Youth Baseball and Softball Program, a role he’s enjoyed for the past eight years. With Lisa, he has run the food stand at the Winsted Summer Festival for the past five years to raise funds for the ball program.
Through his dedication and fundraising efforts, Rick has helped bring about numerous improvements to the ball fields of Winsted.
“He has had great help along the way, and a passion to keep baseball going strong from T-ball age and up,” Lisa said. “He loves to share his love of the game with others.”
The Baumanns have been an active part of Winsted’s Winter Festival each year, as well.
“I have been involved with the Winter Festival ever since I have been involved with the ambassador program,” Lisa said. The ambassador program plays a large role at Winter Festival each year by bringing in “neighboring communities for the parade, as well as having the visiting towns carol at the nursing home and help with the tree lighting ceremony,” Lisa said.
She added that their whole family looks forward to the festival each year, especially the lighted Christmas parade, decorations, candy, and bake sale, “as well as seeing how the kids get so excited for Santa,” Lisa said.
The Baumanns moved to Howard Lake over a year ago, but are still actively involved in all the same Winsted committees, “as if we still live there,” Lisa said. “Winsted has a special place in our hearts.”
“We are humbled by being asked [to be grand marshals],” Lisa said, adding that she and Rick “do what we do, not for the recognition, but to give back to the community. We feel it’s important to volunteer and get involved, and show our children the importance of volunteering.”
Lisa added that Winsted has “many activities and committees one can get involved in,” as well as being “such a friendly community, with many willing to give a helping hand when needed.”
As grand marshals, the Baumanns will lead the Winsted Winter Festival lighted Christmas parade through downtown starting at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7.