Matt Stanley, the director for the Washington High School Blue Lion Marching Band, recently received an official invitation for the marching band to join the Findlay Market parade in Cincinnati on March 28.
The Findlay Market parade, also known as the Opening Day Parade, celebrates the first Major League Baseball game of the season for the Cincinnati Reds. This year marks the 100th anniversary for the parade. Stanley explained this parade will probably be bigger than previous years as “there will be some hoopla” surrounding the anniversary.
Stanley said, “There are over 100 parade units.” These units range from bands, to floats, to Reds’ Hall of Fame members, to different civic organizations in Cincinnati.
Washington City Schools Superintendent Thomas Bailey initially gave Stanley the idea to apply for the parade. According to Stanley, Bailey had been part of the parade with his own groups while acting as a band director in Cincinnati.
Stanley sent in an application with videos and pictures of the Washington High School Blue Lion Marching Band that showcased their performances and their uniforms. He received positive feedback in mid-January, but had to wait for official acceptance this month.
The Washington High School Marching Band will be number 28 in the parade line-up. Stanley said their 28 spot “is right behind the Reds’ Hall of Fame float. ” Stanley explained, “A lot of my kids, especially my boys, are pretty gung-ho that they’re gonna be able to maybe see some of these sports icons they’ve read about and seen play.”
“It looks like it’ll be a really neat experience. We’ve played some big parades before, but probably not one as exciting as the Reds’ opening day parade.” They will be there rain or shine. Stanley said this parade is a nice precursor for the band’s trip to Disney in April.
The marching band will be leaving in the morning via buses. The parade will begin at noon. Once the parade ends, the students will return to Washington High School. Stanley explained they regret they can’t stay for the game, but he needs to get students back for their extra-curricular activities.