To reach a 50th anniversary is something to be proud of, and that’s the age of the Washington Marching Band Festival that will be marked Saturday when the 2018 event will be held.

The founding band director of the festival sponsored by Washington High School, Gene Hunt, is being recognized by the event being dedicated to him.

Thirty-one schools and about 2,200 students will be in Washington for the day with a parade and marching competition. It’s a colorful day with fine-tuned marching music that is enjoyed by all age groups. The parade begins at 8:30 a.m.

It is appropriate that this festival recognize all the work that Gene Hunt did to start the event. Volunteers help. In fact, without volunteers to handle the many aspects of a festival of this size, it couldn’t be done. It has become a tradition and schools wouldn’t come back year after year if they weren’t pleased with the event.

The festival is good for Washington. It showcases the city. And, it is enjoyable.

Congratulations to Washington High School, Gene Hunt, the present band director, Ryan Lovell, all the volunteers and to the citizens who put out the welcome mat to all the festival participants and their parents. It is an outstanding community event!