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City recorder Randy Sanders announces Buckhannon may be a finalist to host the 2023 World Association of Marching Show Bands Championship at council's Dec. 3 meeting.

Buckhannon in the running to host 2023 World Association of Marching Show Bands Championship

BUCKHANNON – For months, city recorder Randy Sanders has been beating the drum for the City of Buckhannon to serve as the venue for the 2023 World Association of Marching Show Bands Championship.

Last month, it seems the Board of Directors of the World Association of Marching Show Bands finally heard – and took heed.

At Buckhannon City Council’s Thursday, Dec. 3 meeting, Sanders, who has extensive experience in organizing large-scale events, announced that in late November, he got word that the city’s application to host the 2023 World Association of Marching Show Band Championships was among a handful of finalist cities.

Sanders delivered an update on the City of Buckhannon’s bid to host the event, which he and a committee of local stakeholders submitted earlier this year.

“We are very close, and I’m feeling very good about our chances of winning the bid to host the 2023 World Association of Marching Show Band Championships,” Sanders said. “We’re not there yet, but I did get a letter dated Nov. 22, 2020.”

Sanders proceeded to read the letter from the board of the association of marching show bands, which invited the city to present its bid at a virtual board meeting at 11:30 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 13 via Zoom and “highlight the event [the city] is envisioning.”

Sanders, who is the state director of the Miss USA and Miss Teen USA state pageants at Miss Universe Organization, worked with West Virginia Wesleyan College officials, including Alisa Lively and John Waltz; Upshur County Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Laura Meadows; and city information coordinator/grant writer Callie Cronin Sams on the city’s application to submit a bid to host the event.

He said Brad Kellison and Lee Winters proved to be of invaluable assistance in the application process, which Sanders said will broadcast Buckhannon’s name around the world regardless of the final result.

“We will be presenting this (on December 13) to board members in the U.S., Canada, Brazil, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Italy and Japan, so that will be the worldwide audience I will be addressing,” Sanders remarked. “So, Buckhannon, West Virginia in the United States of America will definitely be on the map whether we get this or not. We will have made a splash across the world showcasing Buckhannon so fingers crossed.”

“Mayor, we may have a really big Christmas present,” Sanders said, turning to mayor Robbie Skinner.

Councilman CJ Rylands thanked Sanders for his leadership, and Skinner replied the city is “looking forward to a very positive result.”

“But, as you said, regardless, it puts Buckhannon on the map,” Skinner said.

According to its website, the World Association of Marching Show Bands, or WAMSB, is an international band association “dedicated to promoting global communication and interaction between marching show bands.”

“The Association aims to encourage active participation in marching show bands universally, to strengthen the movement internationally, and to stimulate the staging of world-class band events,” its mission reads.

The 2020 World Association of Marching Show Bands Championship was slated to take place in Bangkok, Thailand, but has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2021 location is Rastede, Germany, while the 2022 location will be Limerick, Ireland.

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