The day after Christmas, the members of the Fort Dodge Senior High marching band will leave wintry Fort Dodge for warm and sunny Florida.
When the University of Iowa Hawkeyes meet Louisiana State University at the Outback Bowl in Tampa on New Year's Day, the local band will be on hand to provide some of the halftime entertainment.
The band's 100 students, along with the color guard, have been readying for the performance since spring, when they first learned they would be in the show. They will be among 20 high school bands that will be part of the festivities that accompany this much-anticipated bowl game.
The application process to be part of this important sports events event began more than a year ago. As part of the selection process, a recording submitted by the band and YouTube links showing the band in action were reviewed. Being chosen to perform at this prestigious bowl is an honor for which the band members deserve hearty congratulations.
In addition to performing as part of the halftime show, the local band members will participate in two parades - the Outback Bowl parade and the Universal Studios parade.
Al Paulson, director of bands at Senior High, said the students are looking forward to their Florida adventure with great anticipation. This will be the largest venue these students have performed in yet, Paulson told The Messenger earlier this month.
Iowans are proud that the Hawkeyes will be competing in the Outback Bowl. For Fort Dodgers, having Senior High's marching band be part of the show will make this year's Outback Bowl even more special.
Paulson and the band members have made our town proud by being chosen to take part in what promises to be an exciting sports event. The Messenger applauds Director Paulsen and the band members for the hard work that led to this impressive accomplishment. We urge our readers to tune in on New Year's Day to cheer on both the Hawkeyes and a remarkable group of musicians from Fort Dodge.