Archive for Sunday, September 20, 1998

BANDS WEATHER AFTERNOON PARADE

September 20, 1998

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Marching bands from Kansas and Missouri paraded down Massachusetts Street and played together for a football halftime show at the 51st annual KU Band Day.

The bands filled the stadium, from one goalpost to the other.

Dozens of color guards did routines around Memorial Stadium's track, while thousands of musicians entertained fans at the 51st annual Kansas University Band Day halftime performance during the KU-Illinois State University football game.

Earlier in the afternoon, bands large and small marched down Massachusetts Street for the Band Day parade.

After performing in the parade, hundreds of band members stripped off their uniforms in South Park and waited for buses to take them to campus. On one side, the Wyandotte High School drum line started an impromptu jam session; on another side band members slept on top of their uniforms.

Chase County High School members sat in the shade of a tree, waiting for their bus. They had stripped off the jackets of their uniforms and were trying to cool off.

``These are like a million degrees,'' said Jennifer Lyon, 14, holding up her jacket. ``Polyester wool, baby.''

They had a shorter drive to reach the event than some schools -- it was only two and a half hours. The members of the Norwich Eagles had driven for four and a half hours.

Thanks to a later Band Day parade and performance time this year, the Eagles got a few more hours of sleep. In previous years, the parade had been in the morning. Then the Eagles had to leave at 4:30 a.m. to be at the parade.

``We had to get up at like 3 a.m.,'' said Dustin Barnes, 17, the drum major. The later wake-up call was nice, but ``it was cooler in the morning,'' he said.

``My shirt is completely soaked,'' he said.

Some bands opted to wear T-shirts and casual pants or shorts to help beat the 90-degree heat.

Sisters Alexandra Wilson, 15, and Jessica Wilson, 16, however, were still wearing their purple uniforms with gold capes from J.C. Harmon High School in Kansas City, Kan.

``We've got more discipline,'' Alexandra said.

The sides of Massachusetts Street were lined with lawn chairs and band fans watching the parade, which lasted more than an hour.

``We thought everybody did wonderfully,'' Marie Miller said. She and her husband, Ron, from Bonner Springs, came to town just to watch the parade. ``Bonner Springs was the best, of course.''

There were a few glitches. Lawrence-Douglas County Fire & Medical personnel treated at least 20 band members for heat problems after the parade and at the stadium. Medical Battalion Chief Brian Lawrence said one patient was transported to Lawrence Memorial Hospital.

More than 6,000 people associated with more than 80 bands were scheduled to participate in the event. Bands from all over Kansas and western Missouri were invited to attend.

-- Felicia Haynes' phone message number is 832-7173. Her e-mail address is fhaynes@ljworld.com.

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