LAKEWOOD, Colo. — Dozens of high school marching bands held showcase events Saturday, one day after officials announced the State Marching Band Championships had been canceled.
Marching Band Chairman Kev Ovrebo says he made the decision Friday, after monitoring forecasts all week.
“We became early in the week that it was a strong possibility of bad weather,” he says. “Friday morning, when it became obvious that those temperatures were not going to allow us to hold the contest, that’s when I made the decision.”
The 4A and 5A championships are traditionally held in late October at Falcon Stadium in Colorado Springs. Weather has only forced one other cancellation over the past 30 years, according to Ovrebo.
Ovrebo says a home game for the Falons on November 2 meant next weekend wasn’t an option.
“We’re at the mercy of the Mountain West football conference,” he says. “And there aren’t any other stadiums that can handle an event of the magnitude of ours.”
“It has to have enough parking space for 101 buses, 97 equipment trucks, 63 food vehicles, and I have to have 8 warm-up sites, so that’s a lot of space, and there aren’t high school stadiums that can handle that.” adds Ovrebo.
The decision was a big blow to students like Nathan Bailey, a Senior at Chatfield High School who’s been preparing for his final sendoff.
“I was bummed, for sure,” he says. “State is always something you look forward to.”
Band Directors across Jefferson County decided to hold a last minute showcase event Saturday in Lakewood.
Similar events were held in Boulder Valley, and in Douglas County.
“The next thing was like hey, we need to have a show for these kids,” says Chatfield Band Director Andy Michaud.
About a half dozen schools played their full championship performances Saturday afternoon, with fans and parents cheering from the stands.
“It was really important for us to have this,” said Chatfield Senior Zoe Bonasera.
Bonasera even created miniature trophies for each school to take home.
She says it was an important chance to set an example for younger band members.
“Even if something bad happens, just come out the other side with a grin on your face, and just make sure everyone is also putting out positive vibes,” she says.
The Colorado Band Masters Association is still considering options for awarding champions.
They hope to have those decisions made in the next two weeks.