With one year under his belt the Southmont High School band director is ready for the second annual Indiana Parade of Bands and received approval Wednesday from the Crawfordsville Board of Public Works and Safety.
Brian Bartlett said most of the request pertaining to the parade were the same as last year, with only a few exceptions.
Because a wedding is planned at the First United Methodist Church that are will not be used as a staging site for some of the bands and there will be no need to close Green Street at Wabash Avenue, but rather Pike Street.
Marching will begin at the corner of Pike and South Green streets and proceed north to Main Street, then turn right and head east to the intersection of East Main Street, Wallace Avenue and Elston Avenue, stopping by the General Lew Wallace Study.
The parade is scheduled to start at 2 p.m. and Bartlett said all the streets should be cleared by 4:30 p.m.
“We do have one band that asked if they could have a picnic on the grounds of the Lew Wallace,” he said. “We will have their bus park off of Elston so it won’t be in the way. This is what we are hoping for. They enjoyed it so much last year they want to stay and enjoy the sites for a while after the show is over.”
Last year six bands participated and this year eight have already signed up. Bartlett said a few others are still considering participating.
The eight schools already committed are: Cloverdale, Covington, Eastern (Greene County), Lapel, Rensselaer, Tipton and local bands from North Montgomery and Southmont. New this year will be bands form Covington and Eastern Greene.
“The nice thing is all of these schools committed early,” Bartlett said. “Eight is a nice number but we are still hoping to lure a couple more schools. If you know me, there is never enough. I always want more.”
Bartlett said several of the contacts he made this year are already working to attend next year.
“For various reasons they just couldn’t commit this year,” he said. “That’s OK we knew when you start something new it’s going to take a few years to build it. The promising thing is people are talking about it and that is what we want.”
Like last year there will be three divisions: participation, festival and competition.
Last year Southmont was the only competition band and received the grand champion overall award. Cloverdale received a gold rating for the festival, while Rensselaer received a silver.
Bartlett drew upon a similar event staged in Alexandria, Minn., where the annual Viking Land Band Festival takes place. It was also a way for the Southmont band to take a different approach after having traveled all of the state for a number of years in preparation for an appearance at the Indiana State Fair Band competition. Last year was the first year the band did not participate in the state competition.
When he brought the idea to the Board of Works last year, Bartlett said he was looking for a way the band could give back to the community.
Last year’s inaugural parade drew an estimated 500 viewers who lined the route with lawn chairs or sat on the curbs.