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KAYSVILLE — Hours of hard work, practice and fundraising are about to pay off for members of the Davis High School Marching Band. They are on their way to perform in the 124th Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, Calif. on New Year's Day.
About 300 students, plus chaperones and equipment loaded up and hit the road for California early Thursday morning. Kaysville police escorted the eight buses out of town.
"We've been preparing for a really long time," one band member said Thursday morning. "We've done fundraisers and we've (practiced on) parade routes."
The band members learned that it's one thing to walk for 5 and a half miles; it's another thing to walk 5 and a half miles while carrying a musical instrument. Often the practices took place in wintery weather conditions.
"One time it was snowing and sleeting and hailing, but we did it," another student said, talking about practice sessions.
Band members said marching that far while playing an instrument takes a lot of endurance.
"You have to concentrate on so many things at the same time that it's been compared to many highly-athletic sports," a band member said.
- Began in the 1890s
- Originally the parade was held prior to various competitions
- Included marching bands and motorized floats
- Floats now feature high-tech computerized animation and exotic natural materials from around the world
- Most floats are built by professional float building companies and take nearly a year to construct
A former band member, Mike, agreed that it's a lot of work but very exciting. This is the second time Davis High's band has made the trip. Mike was part of the band when it performed in the Rose Parade in 2003.
"You kind of get into the zone after awhile. It's really exciting when you first come around the corner (during the parade)," he said.
"I do remember at the end," he added. "I had big blisters on my hands."
Kaysville Mayor Steve Hiatt praised the students for their hard work in practicing and fundraising to pay for the trip.
"It's a real honor for these kids who have worked so hard. They didn't take it as a hand-out," he said.
This year's parade will be televised nationally on Jan. 1 and can be seen on KSL TV beginning at 9 a.m. While on camera, the Davis band members plan to play "Don't Stop Believing."
The parade will feature 21 bands, hundreds of horses and riders, plus more than 40 floats.