Sioux Falls, SD
Thursday was the last day the Lincoln High School marching band got to practice at home, before heading to the Tournament of Roses Parade in California.
The band says it's excited to get out of the South Dakota cold and show off their skills to the nation and they aren't taking this opportunity lightly.
After long hours of practice over the last few months, all 242 members feel they're more ready than ever.
"The training kind of gets you prepared for who you are going to represent. And so we just go out and do our best to represent South Dakota," Senior Jared Olson said.
This is the fourth time Lincoln High School has been asked to perform in the Tournament of Roses Parade. And it's quite an honor considering only 16 schools are chosen every year.
"We've worked pretty hard, but everyone works hard. I don't know if there's anything that sets us apart, other than for some reason they seem to like what we do. Because they keep asking us to come back," Band Director Bob Carlson said.
Drum Major Kelsey Stotz says they are ready to show off their talents to the world.
"We've been working really hard and finally this is the big reward. So it will be fun," Stotz said.
And the band will be busy there. They perform at an event called Bandfest and a few select members will perform in a brass quartet at a brunch. On top of all that, the band will have another special honor during the parade.
"When they called us about five weeks ago and asked if we could do a 45 second feature right after we turn the corner. So that meant another preparation for us. But it's a thrill to be asked and we're excited about it," Carlson said.
For students like Olson, this will be a great way to end his high school experience.
"I was really glad that my senior year we'd be going to the Tournament of Roses, because it's kind of a good way to end it. So that was a pretty exciting way to go out," Olson said.
The band will leave for the parade the day after Christmas. The Rose Parade is held on January 1, starting at 10:00 a.m. central time.