In today’s modern world planning student trips everyone will enjoy can be a daunting task. Planning a trip for the high school or junior high band can add even more complexity. Band trips can be designed to have something for everyone. If a student group plans to attend one of Washington D.C.’s most popular festivals, the trip can be designed to suit music and art students. Here are a few suggestions for your next student band trip.
A Band Trip to Washington D.C.: The Annual Cherry Blossom Festival
In 1912 Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo gave the gift of 3,000 cherry trees to the city of Washington D.C. in honor of the relationship between the United States and Japan. In 1915 the United States returned the sentiment with a gift of flowering dogwoods for the people of Japan. By 1935 the first Cherry Blossom Festival was held and the tradition has continued ever since. Currently over one million people visit Washington DC each year to see the cherry trees in full glory and to enjoy different festival events, which include the annual Cherry Blossom Festival Parade.
The National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade is one of the highlights of the festival each year. Huge parade balloons, musical performers, celebrities, marching bands and more fill Constitution Avenue while TV stations broadcast the parade live. The parade features a wide variety music including:
1. Singers like American Idol finalist (2nd season) Kimberly Locke, Grammy winner Thelma Houston, Disney Radio star Joey Page and Miss America 2009 Katie Stam.
2. Student Performers come from far and wide to play at the festival. Students from the Creative and Performing Arts High School in Philadelphia, the All-Star Tap Team and Youth Choir and marching bands from as far as Elko High School in Nevada make it to the Cherry Blossom Festival Parade.
3. Broadway performances by the cast of Chicago and songs from Mamma Mia! have also been part of the festival and the Broadway tradition will likely continue.
The National Cherry Blossom Festival is the perfect destination for a high school band trip to Washington DC, whether students want to watch on the sidelines or participate in the parade fun. To plan an extra special band trip consider attending the 2012 Cherry Blossom Festival, the centennial anniversary of Japan’s beautiful gift to the nation’s capital. Always plan at least a year or more in advance to schedule band performances in the parade. Be certain to work with a qualified student travel professional that has experience in putting together band trips.
Make Sure to Wear Green on Your Student Trip to the Washington D.C. St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Another great plan for a high school band trip is to attend or participate in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Washington, DC. Started in 1971, the annual St. Pat’s parade is a community endeavor supported by the Irish American Club and city officials. Each year a noteworthy person is chosen as the parade Grand Marshall. A parade theme is announced and the honored title of Gael of the Year is bestowed on a deserving member of the community.
Invitations are sent to marching bands, performers, organizations, floats and groups the parade committee feels are appropriate for the parade celebration. Student band trip itineraries can be created to secure great seating to watch the parade or groups can schedule time to perform in the parade. To learn more about receiving an invitation for your band visit the parade web site at www.dcstpatsparade.com.
A Band Trip to Virginia Students Will Love: The Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival
Each year more than 250,000 visitors descend upon the small town of Winchester, Virginia to enjoy a week of fun activities that comprise the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival. For student trips headed to Washington D.C. the Apple Blossom Festival is a great addition. Since 1924, the annual festival has grown to include parades, dances, band competitions, floats, a 10K run, music, a carnival, a circus, sporting, events, car shows, craft shows, delicious food and the traditional Apple Blossom Pageant.
High school band trips, student musical tours and student performance trips to Washington D.C. can all be planned around the Apple Blossom Festival. Musically inclined students may enjoy seeing some famous faces. In the past the Apple Blossom Festival has been proud to host celebrities like Fantasia Barrino, Wayne Newton, Sea Astin, Dan Akyroyd, Katie Couric, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby and Lucille Ball who have served as grand marshals. In 2009 American Idol star Bucky Covington will headline the week’s concerts.
A must see event for band trips and student groups is the Coronation of Queen Shenandoah and the annual Pageant. The coronation ceremony is fashioned after the ceremonies of the British monarchy and the Pageant originally featured a performance by over 1,000 local school children. The annual Pageant has been held on the steps of Handley High School since 1925 and the traditional Royal Command Performance is presented by the Handley Singers.
If you are planning a band trip, student performance tour or a simple group excursion festivals can be an excellent plan whether you are in Washington DC, New York City, Philadelphia or anywhere else in the United States. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or Request a Quote for a student travel company that can help manage all of the details, itineraries and events.