A local high school marching band celebrated Independence Day in the nations' capitol, representing Iberville Parish and the State of Louisiana in the annual Independence Day Parade held in Washington D.C.
The Plaquemine High School "Green Machine" Marching Band was one of over 40 bands from across the country to be selected to march in the parade, which consists of invited bands, fife and drum corps, floats, military and specialty units, giant balloons, equestrian, drill teams, VIP's, national dignitaries and celebrity participants. It is one mile in length, starting at the corner of Constitution Ave and 7th St., and ending at Constitution Ave. and 17th St.
Typically participating bands are invited based on recommendations from each state's Governor's office, from a state's music educators office or other music education organizations at the governor's request, however, the Plaquemine band was personally invited by the parade's selection committee.
"They said they were impressed by what we were doing and asked us if we were willing to come up and perform in the parade," said Band Director Anthony Hollins. "They saw us on YouTube and other social media outlets. I communicated to the kids and told them people are watching so we got to be mindful where we go and how we perform. That pushed them to perform even better."
Hollins credits the band's continuous hard work and dedication for being chosen as the only band from the state to participate in the parade.
"I didn't have any connections or anything," he said. The only person I can give credit to is God because I don't know how this happened. I just got a random phone call."
Aside from the parade, the band spent three days in Washington D.C., sightseeing and visiting most of the monuments and as many museums as possible. Two of the band members, who are also MJROTC Cadets, participated in the wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Solider at the Arlington Ceremony.
"This was a once in a lifetime opportunity. The kids they were awe stuck because they teach you this in seventh grade history, civics, and to actually go see what your teachers taught you about in the book, to see face-to-face, it was a wow sensation. It was amazing."