Band Day Kicks Off at Indiana State Fair
(WIBC.com photo: Ray Steele)
It might not be marching band season yet, but don't tell that to the dozens of bands at the Indiana State Fair at the annual Band Day competition.
It's been an opening day tradition at the Fair for 66 years, as bands from all across the state spend a few weeks of their summer vacation getting ready to perform on a makeshift football field - the dirt track in front of the grandstand. It's the length of a football field, but only about half the width, so the shows for most bands have to be compressed as a result.
Even with the intense heat, which feels even hotter in band uniforms, bands seem to love the experience - especially the smaller bands. South Newton High School does not have a large band, but their sound reverberated off the grandstand seats just as any other band. South Newton band director Andy Earnest says it wasn't easy staying hydrated - he says his band had sports drinks before making their way to the track to their performance, then had water after they were done. Still, they had to go roughly 30-to-45 minutes without anything to drink in the middle of the day, 90-degree heat.
South Newton and most other bands hold summer camps to get their Band Day performances ready, since marching bands typically don't perform their first full shows until football season begins in late August.