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HHS marching band goes on biennial tour

The HHS marching band performs in the Fourth of July parade in Bristol, Rhode Island. The parade has been held every year since 1785, making it the oldest Fourth of July celebration in the country. Hastings was one of 19 bands that marched the 3.5-mile parade route. (Submitted photo)

The Hastings High School marching band left Friday, July 1, on their East coast tour filled with performances and sightseeing.

From July 1-6, the students traveled to various locations such as New York, Boston, Rhode Island and even parts of Ohio.

Stops on the list included Niagara Falls, Bunker Hill, Harvard University, Kennedy Library and more.

Performances included the Fourth of July parade in Bristol, Rhode Island, which is known as America’s oldest Fourth of July celebration. According to the city of Bristol, the parade has been held every year since 1785.

“The parades out East are amazing,” said Emily Chandler, HHS marching band director. “(It is) really fun for the kids to be able to experience that.”

Chandler said that the trip is a good mix of performing and fun.

While the marching band takes a tour every two years, Chandler said that the last time the band has gone to the East coast was in 2010.

School may be out of session, but the summer is a busy time for marching bands because of annual celebration parades. It’s a good way to get them ready for the competition season in the fall.

“It’s a pretty popular time,” Chandler said. “Just the way our season runs it gives the kids a pretty good boost.”

Students also get the opportunity to see other bands and experience not only a different crowd, but also a different part of the country.

Chandler also said that the students get to spend time with each other and get a chance to build new friendships.

“They make so many memories on these trips,” she said.

The band returned on July 7, and they didn’t get much time to rest. On July 9, they performed in the Lakeville parade. Next, they’ll march in the Hastings Rivertown Days parade July 17, starting at noon.