As harvest begins, the smell of grapes is in the air. Along with it, comes the annual Grapefest Fan-fare Marching Band Competition, to be held on Saturday, Oct. 9, in the North East Football Stadi-um. NEHS marching band will host 10 other Lakeshore Marching Band Association (LMBA) member schools, including Bradford, Cochranton, Eisenhower, Erie, Fairview, Meadville, North-western, Saegertown, Seneca and Union City marching bands.
This competition will bring close to 800 students, band instructors, chaperones, as well as families and fans to the North East area to watch these amazing bands compete.
Gates open at 4:30 p.m., with the opening ceremonies beginning at 5:30 p.m.
Tickets are $6 for adults and $4 for students, and may be purchased at the gate.
As the host school, the North East will present their show, “Hearts and Strings Are Breakable Things” in exhibition at the end of the competition, prior to the awards ceremony.
“This event would not be possible without the help of dedicated band families and booster support-ers as this event requires over 75 volunteers to make it happen,” NEHS Band Director, Stephan Degrosky said.
In addition to watching the talents of the area marching bands, there will also be a bake sale, gift card raffle, candy grams for band members, and a basket auction available for purchase.
The concession stand will be open serving Cherry Fest sausage sandwiches, pulled pork sand-wiches, pulled pork nachos, hot dogs, pepperoni balls, and other options.
The Straw Hat will also be on site selling ice cream.
“Be on the lookout for some of North East’s finest football stars as coach Humes has generously offered their assistance for the day as volunteer muscle to move the band’s equipment onto the field for performance,” Degrosky said. “What a great show of support between these two groups of students!”
This is the largest fundraiser of the year for the North East Band Boosters.
Proceeds from the competition help defray expenses of the instrumental music program in North East, including attendance and hosting of PMEA music festivals, regular competition attendance, and judging fees.
In addition, local student musicians raise funds for future trips to Bands of America (BOA) Regional and Grand National competitions and Walt Disney World.