Middle School and High School Marching Bands
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Middle School and High School Marching Bands

The Kansas State Fair extends an invitation to you and your band students to participate in the Marching Band Program at the Kansas State Fair. Approval has been received from the Kansas State High School Activities Association for the 2024 event.

The high school marching band program is one of the great, long-standing traditions of the Kansas State Fair. This program started as far back as the 1960's. Fair-goers love watching the bands as they march by in cadence around the fairgrounds. In 2023, over 90 High School and Middle School bands participated, with close to 4,000 band students in attendance. We are hoping that 2024 will bring out even more schools, helping us get back to over 100 bands.

We encourage all middle and high school bands across the state of Kansas to participate in this program. This is a great opportunity for your band to demonstrate their musical talent as well as showcase their hard work and team effort. This performance early in the season gives your band a wonderful chance to benefit from the judge’s ratings and comments before any state competitions.

Bands will march a parade route on the Fairgrounds and have the additional opportunity to perform in the Peoples Bank and Trust Arena. (See map below). Marching will be on September 9th, 10th, and 11th, 2024 (Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday) with judging occurring on all days. All bands that participate will receive a rosette with their rating, which in most cases is available for pick up before leaving the fair. In addition, those bands that receive a I+ will also receive a banner of their accomplishment.

Three judges are at each location. Marching judges will be along 20th Avenue after passing the Sheep, Swine & Goat Barn. Ratings, judge comment sheets, and your rosette can be picked up at the Kansas State Fair Administration office after 1 pm on your performance day. Any awards not picked up will be mailed to the school as soon as possible. Judges will NOT need a copy of your music. Ratings are based on the adjudication form listed below. The KSHSAA music manual will be used as reference for scoring using three judges.

ADMISSION: Monday is Dollar Day at the Kansas State Fair. Gate admission on this day will only be $1.00 each person. A specially priced $3.00 gate ticket is available to those participating in the Marching Band Program on Tuesday, and Wednesday. For every four students, a teacher/sponsor/chaperone/bus driver may get in free. All bands must check in at the Fairgrounds by Gate 8 for entrance. When paying by check, we require that one (1) check be made out to the KANSAS STATE FAIR to pay for the gate tickets. All bands entering the Fairgrounds must have pre-paid or have payment with them upon check-in.

Fair admission tickets are required to participate in this marching event.

This is a KSHSAA sanctioned and professionally judged competition, therefore, any band wishing to march and/or perform in the arena and not stay for a day at the Fair will be charged a $40.00 entry fee. This will enable your group to enter the Fairgrounds to be judged on their performance, receive the judges comments and earn the appropriate award. Any parents/spectators wishing to watch your students will be required to purchase a gate ticket.

SCHEDULING: Every effort will be made to schedule your time preference indicated on the registration form. New for this year, bands will be assigned a 30-minute window in which to arrive, allowing for more flexibility with travel time to Hutchinson. Once you arrive, make sure students are suited up and then head to the staging location. From there, bands will be lined up and sent along the parade route.

The 2024 parade on the Fairgrounds is scheduled between 8:30 am - noon on Monday, 8:30 am - 11:00 am on Tuesday, and 8:30 am - noon on Wednesday. All timeslots are first come, first serve so be sure to register as soon as you are able to. Last year, our Wednesday schedule filled up quickly, followed closely by our Monday schedule.

PARKING: All bus parking will be in Lot C, which is on the east side of the Fairgrounds off of 23rd Street. (See Fairgrounds map below) Please enter the Fairgrounds parking area on 23rd St. between Plum St. and Severance St. Fairgrounds personnel will direct and park the buses in a designated area. Please inform your bus driver(s) they must follow parking personnel directions so that we can utilize space and make departure pleasant and unhindered.

Equipment vehicles and/or oversized instruments can pick up a temporary parking pass for Gate 2 which will allow one vehicle to enter and unload right next to People's Bank and Trust Arena. Once the band is finished with their arena performance, the equipment can then be packed back up, and the vehicle can head back to the staging area to return the parking pass and park the vehicle in Lot C. If you will require use of a pass, please indicate on the registration form or email Melissa Blake, melissa.blake@ks.gov.

Students should unload in Lot C and proceed in uniform to Gate 8 where Kansas State Fair personnel will assist you. If your tickets have not been pre-paid, this is where you will pay. Bands will line up on Plum St.

Bands will be directed by Kansas State Fair personnel, marching from Gate 9 on 20th Ave through the Fairgrounds to People's Bank and Trust Arena, for an optional performance. Please note there is a quiet zone as you pass the sheep and swine barns, with play resuming as you approach the birthing center. The marching route continues on Ft. Leavenworth Blvd. to 23rd Ave and out Gate 8. Bands will be marching through the Fairgrounds for the Fair patrons. Please be prepared to march and play or march to a drum cadence.

Due to the number of bands performing, all performances in the arena will be limited to two musical selections. If the National Anthem is played, this will count as one of your two musical selections.

All bands must check-in at Gate 8 by 11:00 am to receive their tickets and band packet.

Fair admission tickets are required to participate in this marching event.

Restrooms are available before & after your performance. Water will be available at People's Bank and Trust Arena.

MIDWAY RIDES: Wristband days, where you can ride all the rides you want for $35, will be on Tuesday and Wednesday. Rides open at 1 pm on Tuesday and at Noon on Wednesday. In addition to the $1.00 gate admission available on Monday, September 13, all North American Midway carnival rides will be ONE TICKET per ride. Tickets are $2.00 each. Rides open at Noon on Monday.

If your students forget/lose/need money for lunch, their parents may call the Ticket Office (620-669-3618) and purchase food and/or ride tickets with a credit card. The student then can pick them up at the Ticket Office, which is located on the southwest side of the Administration Building.

If you experience travel delays and will arrive late to your Fairgrounds performance, please notify the Melissa Blake at the Kansas State Fair at 620-669-3600.

Band performance schedules will be confirmed later this spring, as well as posted here no later than September 6th. We many need to alter your performance time slightly if there are multiple bands requesting the same time.


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