My teenager decided to join the Marching Band this year and I'm thrilled! Not only is he having fun, but he's getting exercise, making new friends, is learning military-style discipline, and is using the $600 clarinet we bought him years ago. But the world of Marching Band, football games and competitions is new to me. If it's new to you, too, here's what I've learned:
What To Bring To A Marching Band Competition When You're A Spectator
- Cash – Schools do not take credit cards. Admission thus far has run the gamut from $8 per adult to $12 per adult with kids' rates much lower, so pack cash. Also, the Host Band usually sells snacks to raise funds for the band; it's always nice to buy a snack or two to support them.
- Water And Food – Yes, I know I said to support the Host Band, but these competitions can get expensive! And the food they sell isn't always the most nutritious. I pack a bag with dinner (sandwiches, chicken nuggets), water, and dessert (apples, cheese, grapes). This way, my husband, daughter, and I are getting healthy food and if my daughter wants a snack later, at least she's had a good dinner.
- Stuff For Siblings To Do – Competitions can last many hours and the show doesn't always captivate younger viewers. Keep them entertained and ensure that YOU get to watch the show by bringing a coloring book and crayons, books, etc.
- A Blanket – The Northeast gets COLD in the fall and there's nothing like snuggling under a nice, warm blanket while you're watching the bands perform.
- Stadium Cushions – I've talked to other band parents who are touting expensive stadium cushions complete with backs on them. As the person sitting behind those people, I can tell you that those seats hang over the bleachers and are a pain for the person behind you. I just ordered these cushions from Amazon and I expect they'll keep our tushies from turning into buttsickles.
- Extra Warm Clothes - As I said, these events are LONG and temperatures drop. Bring that extra sweatshirt, wear warm socks, and snuggle under the aforementioned blanket.
Obviously, it's important to remember your manners at Marching Band Competitions.
Spectator Etiquette means:
- Support ALL of the bands, not just yours. Applaud and cheer when they do a good job (and applaud even if they don't – they're trying, after all).
- Don't leave or enter the stadium while a band is performing. It's disrespectful and distracting.
- Avoid unnecessary talking during performances. Show some respect for the performers!
- Silence your cellphone or set it to vibrate and NEVER talk on your phone while a band is playing. It's just downright rude!
- Don't obstruct the view of others. Everyone wants to watch.
- Don't let younger children play in the stands or distract other spectators. If your child can't sit still or behave, take them to another area. And remember that YOU'RE responsible for watching YOUR child.
- Support the Host Band financially (within reason) by visiting their concession stand.
Lastly, ENJOY THE SHOW! Each time I go to a competition, my breath is taken away not only by my son's band, but by the music, choreography, costumes, and flags! These kids put hours and hours into their performances. They work hard and as parents, we've worked hard to support them. These competitions and games are the fruition of their hard work and dedication.
ENJOY THE PAGEANTRY OF MARCHING BAND COMPETITIONS!
Have I missed something? Please comment!
And as always, thank you for visiting my blog!