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You might be a redneck if ... Couple featured on TV show

Gary and Leann Pischke were married on Victory Lane of Cedar Lake Speedway. The unique setting and theme got them a spot on My Big Redneck Wedding, a reality TV show hosted by Tom Arnold.

Racing cars makes you a redneck -- at least that's what producers of "My Big Redneck Wedding" think -- and that's why camera crews rolled into New Richmond in September.

That's when Leann and Gary Pischke got married on Victory Lane of Cedar Lake Speedway.

"You know what a redneck is?" Gary asked. "Someone that's reliable, helps out their friends and are always there. That's me, so I'm a redneck."

The Dalbo, Minn. couple applied for "My Big Redneck Wedding" after a friend suggested it, Gary said. It's a reality TV show featuring redneck weddings. The Pischkes will be featured Feb. 28 at 7:30 p.m. on CMT.

The Pischkes had to write a synopsis detailing their wedding plans as part of the application. After a month, they got an e-mail asking for a phone interview and an audition tape.

Months went by after sending the tape.

"We didn't hear anything so we thought we didn't get it," she said.

About two weeks before the wedding, the Pischkes were notified that they were to be filmed for an episode.

"We hadn't even seen the show," Gary said. "But we've been watching it now and let me tell you there are some out there a lot more redneck than us."

A race track wedding wasn't the first thing that popped into Leann's mind when fantasizing about her wedding, she said. But now, she said, she wouldn't change a thing.

"I was leery at first... a white dress on a dirt track?" she said.

Cedar Lake Speedway holds a special place in Gary's heart, he said.

"I've been coming here for 12 years," he said. "This is my second marriage and I knew I wanted to get married at the racetrack."

The two were sitting in the Outpost Bar and Grill when they decided to get married, they said. Plans just fell into place from there.

"My Big Redneck Wedding" camera crews arrived in New Richmond about a week before the wedding, Leann said.

Being filmed was a little awkward at first, Gary said.

During interviews the Pischkes were directed to talk into the camera instead of the person asking the questions, he said.

As the week progressed, filming got easier, they said.

"By the end of the week we forgot we were wearing microphones," Gary said. "I'm sure there will be some stuff on (TV) that I didn't realize they were recording."

Crews shot about 57 hours of film, Leann said. That footage will be edited down to the 30 minutes episode that will air Saturday.

The Pischkes plan to watch their episode with friends from the Dusty Eagle, a bar in Dalbo.

"We've already seen the commercials," Leann said. "It was different to look up and see ourselves on TV."

About 200 people attended the wedding. It was the first wedding to take place at Cedar Lake Speedway, Gary said.

Leann wore a traditional white gown but added a black sash to the dress to keep with the racing checkered theme. Gary wore his racing suit but added a checkered bow tie and checkered cumberbun.

Matron of honor, Karen Claycomb, and the bridesmaids wore black skirts, white blouses and checkered sashes. Best man James Uno Diamond, and the groomsmen wore racing suits.

"Nothing about the wedding was staged," Leann said.

Cameras rolled during the ceremony but never interrupted, she said.

The only time it was obvious the cameras were there was after the wedding when crews asked Leann to walk down the aisle a few more times so they could get the right shot.

Saturday's episode will feature wagon races, rings made from car parts, karaoke singing and a go cart crash.

The Pischkes will be paid $2,500 for appearing on the show. They received $1,250 after recording the episode and will get another $1,250 before it airs.

The day would not have been possible without the help of local friends, Gary said. From use of the Speedway to the Outpost Bar, Gary said he can not thank everyone enough for their generosity.

Jackie Grumish
Jackie Grumish has been a reporter with the New Richmond News since 2008. She holds degrees in journalism and fine art from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Ill. Before coming to New Richmond, Jackie worked as the city government reporter at a daily newspaper in Aberdeen, S.D. 
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