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The Columbus High School marching band performs during a parade along 13th Street in downtown Columbus during last year's Columbus Marching Festival. This year's event will be held Saturday.

COLUMBUS — Students are hoping to hit the right notes during this weekend’s Columbus Marching Festival.

The annual event will be held for the 43rd time Saturday and feature two judged competitions involving area bands. Columbus High is serving as the host school.

Jeff Peabody, CHS band director, said the longevity of the festival is tied to support from the community and the school’s band boosters.

“The boosters run it really well. The bands come back because they get treated well,” he said.

Although the festival is judged, it's low-stress for the bands because of how the volunteers have it organized, Peabody said.

The event serves as the main fundraiser for the CHS Band Boosters, which uses the money to support the Discoverers band. The boosters pay for about a third of the marching band activities each year.

In the past, funds have been used to help purchase a trailer to take equipment to competitions and buy new instruments. Typically, the CHS band attends four or five competitions a year.

The public is invited to attend both the parade and marching portions of Saturday's festival.

The event will kick off with a 10:30 a.m. parade along 13th Street led by the 145 members of the CHS band.

“You will see a real happening downtown,” Peabody said.

In addition to the bands, some downtown businesses will be open and the farmers market will be set up in Frankfort Square that morning.

Other bands taking part in the parade are David City Public Schools, Loup City High School, Shelby-Rising City High School, Lakeview High School, Twin River, Yutan Public Schools, Aurora High School, Grand Island Northwest and Seward High School.

The afternoon field portion starts at 1 p.m. at Pawnee Park’s Memorial Stadium.

“You will see each band put on about a 10-minute field show that they have been working on since August,” Peabody said.

There will be 10 bands in the field competition including Crofton Community Schools, Loup City High School, David City Public, Lakeview, Fremont High School, Aurora, Grand Island Northwest, Seward, Norfolk High School and CHS.

First and second places will be awarded to schools in each class in the parade and each school will get a rating in the field competition.

There is no cost to attend the parade. Admission to the field event is $7 for adults and $5 for students.

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