Strike up the band

sousa.jpgThrilling SWAC-style marching bands, complete with drumlines and magical, stirring cadences, will treat Austinites starting tomorrow, with a parade up Congress scheduled for two o’clock, then continuing with the Alvin Patterson Battle of the Bands competition at Reagan tomorrow night, and finishing with another free parade, on the shady East Side starting at around ten o’clock on Saturday morning, from MLK and Comal to Rosewood Park. This is the third year for all this excitement, in honor of Juneteenth / Proclamation Day / Emancipation Day. (See last year’s entries on the Congress and East Side parades.) Here are the invited bands: Houston All Star Band, Austin All Star Band, Memphis All Star Band, Hearne All Star Band, Louisiana Leadership All Star Band (Baton Rouge), Black Heritage All Star Band (Lafayette), Jackson All Star Band (Mississippi), Ozen High School (Beaumont), and Yvonne A Ewell, Townview Center (Dallas). I especially love the Hearne band because there are so many involved parents and so many commemorative T-shirts worn to mark other competitions and trips. If the heat is oppressive in the afternoon on Congress, sometimes not all bands march, saving the players’ energies for the competition, but Hearne has marched no matter what.

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