Scout House Take Top Prize In Strawberry Festival Parade
Preston Scout House Alumni Band, of Cambridge, marched off with the top music award in the 71st annual West Virginia Strawberry Festival Grand Feature Parade in Buckhannon on Saturday, May 19. The Band’s schedule for the day included a 90-minute field show practice in the morning, the afternoon Feature Parade and an evening field show all under a blazing sun and high temperature.
Scout House has won top prize in every judged parade it has marched in dating back to June, 2011, including the Dunnville Mudcat Festival Parade, Burlington Sound of Music Festival Grand Parade and the Cambridge Christmas Parade.
The Buckhannon Grand Feature Parade is considered one of the best in the eastern United States. Drum and bugle corps, bands and marching units attend from across the United States and Canada. Many floats and novelty units have appeared in nationally known events such as the Tournament of Roses, Fiesta Bowl, and Orange Bowl parades. The parade, stretching more than two and a half miles through the entire downtown area, was one of three held in Buckhannon during the seven-day festival.
The Junior Royalty Parade took place Thursday evening. The Fireman’s Parade took place Friday evening. Parade spectators traditionally set up their lawn chairs at the curb Thursday evening, and leave them in place until the Grand Feature parade marches past two days later.
The field show exhibition at Ross Stadium on the campus of West Virginia Wesleyan College on Saturday evening included the United States Marine Corps marching band from Parris Island, South Carolina; United Alumni drum and bugle corps of Simcoe, Ontario; Mighty St. Joe’s alumni corps of LeRoy, New York; Capital Brass mini-corps of Albany, New York; Brooklyn Steppers Marching Band of Brooklyn, New York; Muleketu, a Latin-styled percussion group from Paris, France; United Alumni Petersburg High School marching band.
Scout House brass players returned to the field at the conclusion of the field show to play Auld Lang Syne and You’ll Never Walk Alone, a tradition at alumni drum and bugle corps shows, with members of Mighty St. Joe’s and Simcoe United Alumni.
The West Virginia Strawberry Festival is old-fashioned celebration to promote the strawberry harvest. It was originally held in late June, but has moved forward over the years to take advantage of the availability of high school and other bands, which often aren’t available near the end of the school year.
Volunteer organizers emphasize family style entertainment including educational and cultural events for everyone. Events include a children’s carnival, arts and craft exhibits, a quilt show, photography show, souvenir shop, Main Street and courthouse square entertainment events, band competitions, classic car show, strawberry auction, various sporting events, three major parades and huge Party Gras block parties on Main Street running until midnight on Friday and Saturday nights.
Buckhannon is located in a broad valley in the mountains of West Virginia, about 400 miles from Cambridge. The three day weekend tour was the first time that Scout House has ever performed in the state. Since its first stage show in 1999, Scout House Alumni Band has performed in more than 360 parades, field shows and concerts in communities across Ontario and Quebec, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Florida.
Scout House will next perform locally at Cambridge City Hall,?50 Dickson Street, on Friday June 15 during the Mayor’s Celebration of the Arts, a community arts festival. Preston Scout House Alumni Band is a previous winner of the City of Cambridge cultural award for music.
For more information about Preston Scout House Alumni Band, contact Activities Director Nancy Weiler at telephone (519) 653-3376, email prestonscouthouseband [dot] adm [at] sympatico [dot] ca or visit the Web site at http://www.scouthouseband.com/