The Rose Parade has been a New Year’s Day tradition for the past 131 years. One Coast school was lucky enough to be included in this year’s festivities.
West Harrison High School made sure to bring the Pride of South Mississippi to the West Coast. The hurricanes are the first Mississippi band to perform in Pasadena’s famous Rose Parade in 30 years. West Harrison Band Director Tim Garrett said, “It was definitely a once in a lifetime experience for all of the students to go to California and to just see America’s New Year’s Celebration and to be a part of it. There are no words to describe it. It’s fantastic.”
Preceding the Rose Bowl Game, the parade features beautiful floats and bands from around the world, including Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Denmark. “It exceeded expectations as far as how the kids felt about themselves when they went down the route and how we were treated while we were here, it was great, you know you hear so much negative about Mississippi and then everyone just treated us so great.”
The West Harrison Band is no stranger to the big stage, performing at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2017. However, the experience of the Rose Parade was something different, a more intimate setting with more of a parade-like atmosphere. “A lot of people saying ‘Mississippi’ spelling out, you know the song when we small, so it was just really great for the kids.”
The band will be returning to the Coast on Thursday after their trip to Disneyland.