Thank You, Mike!
Band Director & Showman, Mike Lekrone's Final Season
UW Marching Band Director Mike Leckrone retired after 50 years on the job. Only Bucky Badger has reigned on the field of Camp Randall longer. In his early years at Camp Randall, Leckrone did some crazy things... he rode onto the field on a camel and on an elephant, and departed the stadium on a palomino while the band played "Happy Trails."
The unexpected and surprise entrances continued at the Band's performances at Union South before home football games. Prior to the opening of Union South in 1971, the UW Marching Band warmed up in various spaces around Camp Randall. Once open, Union employee Merrill "Corky" Sischo suggested the band use the area surrounding the newly opened Union South as a warm up space. Suddenly crowds were coming to see band director, Mike Leckrone and the UW Marching Band in full swing. This was the start of Badger Bash.
2018-2019 marked Leckrone's final appearance at Union's South's Badger Bash. Each event featured a unique entrance and the final Bash featured confetti bombs and fireworks, as well as custom buttons and kazoos.
Free, open to the public, and family-friendly, every Badger Bash is a time of never-ending excitement and cheer. The Bash begins 2½ hours before kickoff at Union South for every football home game.