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Festival Of Bands

Marching Band
Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Getty Images)

It all starts with a parade Saturday morning through downtown Sioux Falls starting at 8:45, followed by field competitions all day at Howard Wood Field.  The “best of the best” will then compete in the finals Saturday night, also at Howard Wood.


Even if you’re not a fan of marching band, it really is something you need to experience at least once.  The excitement and precision of all those kids, marching in different directions while creating this unbelievable sound, is truly amazing.  Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.


One thing you’ll want to watch for during the parade is when the Washington High School band marches by “Old Washington” (which is now the Pavilion).  They always stop, turn towards the building and play the school song.  I think that’s why so many people watch the parade from that location.  I still get goose bumps.


Back when my own kids were involved in marching band, I’ve always had this idea that the group in charge of the Festival should try incorporating Pee Wee football into the mix.  Why Pee Wee football?  What happens during halftime at most high school football games?  The band performs.  So why not during the Festival, in between the bands getting on and off the field, we get some of the area Pee Wee football teams to compete and help pass the time.


I can guarantee you one thing, none of the teams would be disappointed.  You see, band parents are a special breed.  When my kids were part of the Washington Warriors marching band, the one thing that always impressed me was, no matter who the band was, everyone got a standing ovation.  I think the world, as a whole, could use a little more of that.  Don’t you agree?

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