BUCKHANNON – Tickets for the 2023 World Association of Marching Show Bands Championship competition are officially on sale.
President of the WAMSB 2023 Buckhannon Host Committee Randy Sanders laid out the schedule for the quickly approaching event during the May 10 Buckhannon-Upshur Chamber of Commerce meeting.
“I have received a lot of questions about ticket sales; we launched them online not too long ago and had a very robust opening — we’ve sold about $10,000 worth of tickets,” Sanders said. “We have a long way to go because that’s only going to be a little section of the seating we have at Wesleyan College, so encourage folks to go online and purchase tickets or after today. You will be able to stop in at the Chamber of Commerce, the CVB and also City Hall to purchase actual tickets with cash and checks.”
A bundle of tickets for each activity or individual events can be purchased online.
“You’ll be able to purchase the packet of tickets that gives you access to all events for $75, and that includes the official opening ceremonies featuring Lee Greenwood, who is going to be performing,” Sanders said. “Most of the bands will be in town Wednesday, so they’ll be appearing and introduced in a real special fashion so the public can see them as groups coming onto the field.”
The festivities will take place from July 17 to July 23 at locations across Buckhannon. The opening ceremonies will take place July 19, with the rest of the competitions to follow.
“The concert competition will run most of the day in the Performing Arts Center at West Virginia Wesleyan College, starting at 9 a.m. July 20,” Sanders said. “At 4 p.m. that same day, we will have the field parade competition, which is a little different, it’s all about the formations and how they present themselves while playing a selection on the field and later at 7:30 p.m., the drumline competition will start.”
July 21 will feature preliminary field competitions most of the day, where bands will compete to appear in the top 10 bands and reach the finals, which will take place July 22. The winner of the top 10 bands will earn the national title that evening.
“Sunday evening, July 23, we’ll have the official closing ceremonies at 7 p.m. and featured in the closing ceremonies will be the United States Marine Drum and Bugle Corps, which is a 68-person unit coming in from Washington, D.C., and they’re just magnificent and this will include beautiful fireworks,” Sanders said.
On top of the competitions and performances, there will be activities taking place on Main Street and Jawbone Park.
“We’ll have a ‘Cruisin’ Car Show’ on Main Street at 6 p.m. on July 17 and our gift shop opens July 18 and we’ll have food concessions down at Jawbone,” Sanders said. “It’ll be set up just like the Strawberry Festival; they’ll open by 4 p.m. with a soft opening and the real opening at 6 p.m. The carnival will also appear over on the Madison Street property at 6 p.m.”
A Party-Gras-like event, titled “Music on Main,” will take place July 21, starting at 9 p.m. and the Grand Feature Parade of Nations will take place July 22 at noon.
“The parade itself will have more international entries than any other parade in the country in 2023,” Sanders said. “We’ll have at least 16 countries represented, we have a lot of units that have never been seen in our parades here, we have a lot of great floats, we have a lot of support, and we have a lot of great sponsorships.”
A full schedule of events may be found on the WAMSB website.