Wisconsin was well represented at Monday's Rose Parade.
Eight band directors and coaches, as well as 394 students from the Wisconsin Northwoods Marching Band, performed at the parade in Pasadena, California.
"This was truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for these kids. To pull something together where they have 400 of them all working toward the same thing was unbelievable," said William Richter, Lakeland Union High School Band Director.
The other schools include Antigo, DC Everest, Merrill, Mosinee, Northland Pines, Three Lakes and Wausau East. It was a massive collective band featuring eight different uniforms, but all the students wore identical hats.
Tournament of Roses President Amy Wainscott hatched the idea. A graduate of Northland Pines High School, she wanted more students from Wisconsin to be able to march in Pasadena.
It is the first time any band from northern Wisconsin has been in the parade.
Not only will the “combined ensemble” be the largest band to march in the parade in 2023, but it also will make the record books as the second-largest marching band in Rose Parade history.
The Wisconsin Northwoods Marching band was one of just 20 bands from all across the world that were featured in today’s parade.
"We're proud. And we are thankful for all the support across the state of Wisconsin back home. For everything they have done to have made this happen for us," said Richter.
For the kids, it was the longest parade they've every marched at 5.5 miles. But they'll be rewarded — a trip to Disneyland before the long trip back to northern Wisconsin.
Correction: It is called the Rose Parade, not the Rose Bowl Parade.