Marching Along in Paragould

For the past 25 years, Region 8 high school marching bands have gathered in the month of october for the Paragould/Mcdonald's Invitational Marching Contest.

A warm up... Says Pargould band director Trey Reely, "this has been traditionally, for most of the bands that come, their earliest contest so it's really kind of a warm up for other contests."

The invitational draws bands from all over Region 8. This year 12 bands competed in 4 divisons Class B, Class A, Class AA and Class AAA.

There were six judges who looked at everything from percussion to flags and musicality. Judges like Kevin Cole a band director from Oxford, Mississippi who says in his many years of judging, things have changed.

Cole says "The bands are doing more shows that I think appeal to the people and I think they are trying to reach the people more. The bands are doing more intricate drills than they used to do."

One of the big things I noticed were the amount of props and support vehicles the bands use in their shows and to haul all their stuff to the show.

Highland High School band director Hope Bruner told us "we have eight signs, we pull out a tarp in our middle number, we have baseball caps, baseball bats, we even throw the audience popcorn and peanuts before we start. "

Ashley Shahan a junior from Wynne who is in the flag line was very pleased with her schools performance. "I think we did a really good job, I think the flag line did really good, the drum line was really awesome everybody did really well. "

Apparently the judges were pleased too, Wynne was one of the overall champions in todays contest along with Hoxie, Highland, and Jonesboro.