The 49th annual Washington Marching Band Festival will take place this Saturday, Oct.7.
Hosted by Washington High School, the festival will again feature a parade and field competition with 2,000 students from 37 schools participating.
The parade through Downtown Washington will begin at 8:30 a.m.
The field competition, which will be held at Rauch Field at Washington High School, will begin at 11:30 a.m.
Ryan Lovell, Washington band director, said his students are excited to serve as host.
Lovell said the festival is always a major undertaking and more than 200 volunteers, including parents, staff and others, will help to put it on.
“We are extremely lucky to always have more than enough people willing to put this event together,” he said.
There will be an admission charge for the field competition and award ceremonies. The cost is $8 for adults and $5 for students. Seniors and children under 5 get in free.
Lovell said programs will be available to purchase at both the parade and field competitions.
Spectators are reminded that no parking will be allowed along the shoulders of Highway 47. People may park along 14th Street or use the parking available at the shuttle parking lot.
Shuttles will be used to transfer spectators from parking at the Mercy Medical Building parking garage. These shuttles will take passengers to and from the Washington High School campus only. The shuttles will not provide transportation to or from the parade route.
The shuttles will run from 9 a.m. until 9:30 p.m.
There will be 21 bands in the parade competition, plus Washington High School, which as the host band, will not be competing.
New Haven High School and St. Francis Borgia Regional High School will both march in the parade.
The parade will begin at Main and Cedar streets and proceed east on Main to Jefferson Street. It will turn south on Jefferson to east on Eighth Street and end at Eighth and Sunnyside streets.
The bands will require the full width of the street, so parking restrictions will apply along the route Saturday from 7:30 until about 11 a.m. or the end of the parade.
Blue Jay Drive and both the high school and middle school campuses will be closed from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. or the end of the festival.
There will be two judging locations — at the intersection of Main and Oak streets and Jefferson and Third streets
Lovell said the field competition will feature 22 bands in five classes, including St. Francis Borgia and Union high schools.
Classes are determined by the enrollment of the school in grades nine to 12.
“The field competition will include a preliminary performance with bands competing against schools of similar size enrollments,” Lovell said.
The winner of each class, plus the next five highest scoring bands, regardless of class, will perform in the finals.
“Those 10 bands will compete head-to-head in the finals competition that begins at 6 p.m.,” he said. “The benefit for the bands is that they will get to perform twice for the judges and get evaluated by two judges in every area of critique.”
In addition to the placement awards, recognition will be given for Outstanding Percussion, Outstanding Auxiliary, Outstanding Music Performance and Outstanding Visual Performance.
The field competition will conclude with an exhibition performance by the Washington High School Marching Blue Jays and final awards presented at approximately 9:30 p.m.
Lovell said one additional trophy will be presented to the highest scoring band that participates in both the parade competition and the field competition.
“This Sweepstake Award will hopefully encourage bands to participate in both of these competitions,” he said.