The Alferd Packer Memorial String Band will perform on tax night for the 25th year Monday evening at the downtown post office, 645 Vt.
Steve Mason, fiddler, said the band plays the “William Tell Overture” at 5:25 p.m. to greet the last-minute filers, who arrive shortly before closing time.
He said that when the post office used to close at midnight, the theme was much more appropriate for people who had been working on taxes all night.
“It’s not near as impressive at 5:25 in the afternoon, but it’s all you can do,” he said.
Mason said the band started the tradition of playing 26 years ago, when Mason himself was a last-minute filer.
“I had that feeling you have after an exam, that pressure let-off, that what-now kind of feeling,” he said.
He wanted a party, but there was no party to be had. So the next year he threw his own party with the band at the post office.
Now, after 25 years, the band is considering not returning next year. Mason said fewer and fewer people physically mail their taxes, but they’ve enjoyed watching the same families come in each year.
“There’s people coming to it that we’ve watched them grow up,” he said.
The band will play from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday in the post office lobby.
Taxes are due on Monday, April 18, not today, this year because Washington, D.C., is celebrating Emancipation Day on April 15, which pushes filing back to the next business day.