The first thing you need to know is that this huge event is truly an event for families. Families who have kids participating and families just looking for a day of fun and extraordinary musical entertainment.

The 34th Annual Festival of Bands USA is this Saturday, October 2. It is considered one of the nation's largest marching band events, featuring over 40 bands and bringing over 15,000 people to Sioux Falls from South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, and Nebraska!

The five schools hosting the celebration this year are Washington, Roosevelt, O'Gorman, Lincoln, and Jefferson High Schools. All five will perform in the Field Exhibition during the event finals, beginning at 6 PM on Saturday evening.

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This long day of music and marching starts with a parade that will begin on West Madison Street, turn onto North Lake Avenue by Covell Lake and the baseball fields, and end at the corner of North Lake and West Avenues.

The field competition takes place at Howard Wood Field from 10 AM to 6 PM. Finals begin at 6 PM, followed by the host schools' exhibition performances. Finally, the awards are given to the top 5 bands and also the best Drumline, Drum major, Hornline, and Guard.

One additional element of this special event will be the performance of the newly revived Augustana University Vikings Marching Band. This group which ceased to exist in the mid-70s is newly re-formed and ready to wow crowds once again!

The parade watching is free for everyone, but you will need a wristband to get into the field competition. Adult wristbands are $15, $5 for students, kids 5 and under are free. Wristbands can be purchased in advance at all Lewis Drugs in Sioux Falls and Brandon, or at Howard Wood Field, the day of the competition.

You can catch a live stream of the event and get more information at Festival of Bands.

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