One of the first things that the Rustic Lore Days Committee does at their first meeting of the year is to choose Grand Marshals.  It is an honorary title given to people who the committee feels has been, or still is, a big part of the Glenwood City community.  We have honored a variety of local residents over the years including: business owners, doctors, school teachers, school administration and local farmers.   The Grand Marshals are distinguished guests for the entire weekend of Rustic Lore Days festivities with their biggest honor is leading the Grand Parade on Sunday.  This year, we are honored to have Dennis and Doris Berends as our 2021 Rustic Lore Days Grand Marshals.  Joining them will be our our 2020 Rustic Lore Days Grand Marshals, Julian and Judith Bender.  Please read more about our honorary Grand Marshals below.  To view our previous Grand Marshals, please click here.



2022 Grand Marshals biography coming soon...




The Glenwood City Rustic Lore Days committee is excited to

have two long-time community members serve as our Grand

Marshals this year.  We are pleased to announce that Julian

and Judy Bender are our 2020 Grand Marshals for Glenwood

City Rustic Lore Days!


Julian is originally from Denver, Colorado where he was born

and raised in a small family with one brother.  He graduated from

East High School in 1963.  Following his high school career,

Julian went on to attend the University of Northern Colorado in

Greeley, Colorado.  This school has a long-standing history in

teacher education and at the time was one of the premiere

teacher education institutions around.  During his time at

Greeley, Julian was drafted to serve in the United States

Army for almost 3 years.  Upon his return, he was able to

complete his Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry in 1970 as well as

later furthering his education with a Master of Arts in School

Administration in 1974.


Judy is originally from a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio where she

was also part of a small family, being an only child.  Judy

graduated from high school in the Class of 1966 with over 900

classmates.  Following high school, Judy also attended the

University of Northern Colorado pursuing her degree in

Elementary Education.  She graduated from Greeley in 1972

with a Bachelor of Art in Elementary Education. 


As you can imagine, Greeley is where these two met.  Judy describes a gathering at her place in August of 1969 where party goers listened to music and played Bridge.  Judy may tell you that Julian wasn’t “invited” to the party; however, Julian will claim that he most certainly was.  Following the gathering, Julian told Judy that he would see her in the morning.  Judy figured that wasn’t going to happen, but to her surprise “there he was” the next day.  


Following their completion of college, the couple moved to northern Illinois where Julian started his teaching

career and their family began as well.  He started searching for administrative positions in 1974.  He held two principalships prior to arriving in Glenwood City in 1984.  During this time, Judy was doing some occasional 

individual tutoring in surrounding school districts but was even happier to have the ability to be a stay at home mom with their two daughters.  When their youngest was in middle school, Judy secured the Title One teaching position at Glenwood City Elementary and went on to teach reading and first grade.  Julian served as the High School/Middle School Principal for 18 years until retirement in 2002.  Judy continued in her elementary teaching position until her retirement in 2010.  If you ask Julian, he might say that this was a time when Judy was supporting him, and he improved his cooking skills. 


Julian and Judy have two daughters – Jennifer and Stephanie – both who graduated from Glenwood City High School under their father’s principalship.  Jennifer graduated in the Class of 1988 and now resides in Minnesota with her husband and two children.  She serves as the Business Manager at her local church in the Forest Lake area.  Stephanie graduated in the Class of 1991 and also resides in Minnesota with her two children.  Stephanie

is a School Counselor at the middle school in Eden Prairie.  Thanks to their daughter, Stephanie who was a Glenwood City Princess 1989-1990, Julian and Judy know the ins-and-outs of Rustic Lore Days, more specifically from the royalty perspective.  Julian and Judy have been blessed with four incredible grandchildren: Tyler, Sam, Reese and Garrett.  


Since their retirements, Julian and Judy have found many ways to keep themselves busy.  Julian didn’t end his education career after retiring. He became a supervisor for student teachers at the University of Wisconsin—River Falls from 2002 to 2011.  It is truly wonderful that Julian provided these student-teachers with knowledge and guidance as they begin their teaching careers.  Both Julian and Judy have also served as members on the Glenwood City Library Board – Judy for 10 years and Julian followed with a 13 year term.  Judy was instrumental in bringing the More On-Line Resources for Everyone (MORE) system to the Glenwood City Library.  


Once retired, the couple continued their love of traveling all over the country, as well as the world.  Some of the most memorable travels have been to Hawaii, England, France, Italy, Germany, Australia along with multiple cruises that have taken them to the Baltic, the Caribbean, and China.  In addition to their worldly travels, Julian continues to be an active member of the Glen Hills Lion’s Club where the Lions sponsor the Rustic Lore Softball Tournament and Chicken Dinner.  Julian also enjoys reading a good book, hitting the golf course and woodworking.  Judy still stays active in our community today too.  She is an active member of the Glenwood City Methodist Church serving as the treasurer, Bible study leader, UMW chairperson, and lay leader.  She is also a great help during Rustic Lore Days in coordinating the City Wide Garage Sales during the celebration weekend and will continue to do so this year while serving as Grand Marshal. Both Julian and Judy love being grandparents and seeing the grandchildren participate in concerts and sporting events.  


While Judy and Julian may not be natives of Glenwood City, they have sure planted their roots since their arrival in 1984 and have become familiar faces within the community.  “It’s a shock to move to a small town at first,” they said, mostly due to being born and raised in such large, urban communities.  However, Julian and Judy found an abundance of reasons for staying around as long as they have.  “Glenwood City is a great place to raise children and allows everyone to know everybody,” said the Benders.  Julian and Judy were thrilled, surprised, and honored to be the Grand Marshals for Glenwood City Rustic Lore Days this year.  The Glenwood City Rustic Lore Days committee is pleased to have Julian and Judy Bender as 2020 Grand Marshals as we commemorate our annual traditions.  Please join us on September 11-13, 2020 as we get “On The Right Track” for Rustic Lore Days 2020!