Marching Blue Jays to Host Band Festival

The senior members of the Washington High School Marching Blue Jays gathered for a photo as they prepare for the 48th annual Marching Band Festival this Saturday, Oct. 1. The daylong event begins with a parade competition at 8:30 a.m. and field contest at 12:15 p.m. As host, the Marching Blue Jays will perform in both events, but will not be judged.   Missourian Photo.

The 50th annual Washington Marching Band Festival will take place this Saturday, featuring both parade and field competitions.

As the host, the Washington High School Marching Blue Jays will give exhibition performances in both events, but are not eligible for awards.

The parade will begin at 8:30 a.m. The Marching Blue Jays will be the last entry and should step off at approximately 9:30-10 a.m.

The parade will begin at Main and Cedar streets. It will continue on Main Street, turn on Jefferson Street to Eighth Street and end at Sunnyside.

The Marching Blue Jays will perform again on the field at Scanlan Stadium at approximately 8:30 p.m.

A total of 31 schools and about 2,200 students will compete between the two events, according to Ryan Lovell, Washington High School band director.

Lovell said this year’s festival is dedicated to Gene Hunt, event founder and former band director.

More than 250 volunteers, including parents, staff and others, will work the event.

The parade awards will be announced at 2:45 p.m. during the field competition.

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.

Area schools competing in the parade competition include the Borgia Regional Grade School, New Haven High School, St. Francis Borgia Regional High School and Sullivan High School. In the field competition, St. Francis Borgia Regional High School and Sullivan High School also will compete.

The prelim awards for the field competition will be announced for all classes at 5:15 p.m.

The top eight finalists will then perform beginning at 6:30 p.m. and continue every 15 minutes with finalist No. 8 performing at about 8:15 p.m.

The final awards will be announced after the Blue Jays perform.

There will be an admission charge for the field competition and award ceremonies. The cost is $10 for adults and $5 for students and seniors. Children under 5 will get in free. The program will cost $5.

Shuttles will be used to transfer spectators from 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.