Monday, February 13, 2017
The City of Winter Park proudly hosted the 10th Annual Russell Athletic Bowl Parade of Bands, featuring West Virginia University and University of Miami. The parade was a prelude to the Russell Athletic Bowl game at 5:30 p.m. at the Orlando Citrus Bowl Stadium that evening. School bands, cheerleaders and mascots marched through downtown Winter Park and performed a “Bandtastic Game Day Preview.” The parade started at 11 a.m. at the intersection of Park and Lyman avenues. School bands marched north along Park Avenue through downtown Winter Park. After turning west on Garfield Avenue, they proceeded to Central Park where they performed on the lawn in front of the band shell for all fans to enjoy.
I arrived a little early, and found a peaceful shady spot in the shade. Being in the park, I was safe from the Winter Park law that bans creating art on Park Avenue and Herald Square. The park is exempt from the Winter Park law which threatens 30 days in jail and a $500 fine for creating art in public. Excited children played near the fountain. People were seated curbside in lawn chairs waiting for the parade to start. By the time I had sketched the fountain, the bands could the heard in the distance. Bright yellow uniforms filled the street they marched by. Once both bands had marched by, everyone started walking towards the Central Park Band Shell. I walked over as well, but decided there wasn't enough film for a second sketch. The event reminded me of my youth when we watched high school bands marching in my small home town. I remember covering my ears when drums marched by. The loud drumming vibrated my tiny frame. In all the Winter Park event had all the restrained charm of middle American ideals.