The Novant Health Thanksgiving Eve Parade is Wednesday, and a really cool part of the parade every year is the battle of the bands.
Marching bands have been a centerpiece of the Thanksgiving Parade since 1947 when it all began. This year, tradition continues as nine bands compete in the WBTV Battle of the Bands.
We caught up with the West Charlotte Marching Lions, just one of the high school bands around town marching it out, practicing after school for weeks to prepare.
Not only do they practice and memorize the music, but they also do endurance training and aerobic exercise. All that training has brought them to this moment.
Here’s how it works. On Wednesday night, beginning at 6 p.m. as the 75th Annual Thanksgiving Eve Parade gets underway, the bands will march, play, dance, and chant their way down Tryon Street toward Stonewall Street.
Each band automatically will be entered into the competition. Band members say for them, the anticipation is building.
“The day of the parade, it is going to be kind of hard trying to concentrate on the people, the crowds, the yelling, the playing, the marching, the decorations, all of that. But you have to realize where you are and what you’re doing, and make sure you stay on top of your game and just have fun,” drum major Jayden Bullock said.
Other bands competing in the WBTV Battle of the Bands include Ashe County Husky Vangard Marching Band, The Pride of Morehead Marching Band, the South Park Marching Band, The Independence Patriot Marching Band, Rocky River, East Burke, the Hopewell Titanium Sound Band, and the Butler Marching Bulldogs.