First Marching Band in Shortest St. Pat’s Parade

The Mountain Pine High School Red Devil Marching Band

For the first time since its creation 15 years ago, the World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade featured a marching band. The Mountain Pine (Arkansas) High School Red Devil Marching Band appeared in the Hot Springs, Arkansas, parade on March 17.

“We’re just so happy to have this honor bestowed on us and our little marching band,” says director Chris Johns. “This will be a memory the students will always remember and treasure forever.”

Johns says being selected as the first marching band was “a bit of good luck for us.” Mountain Pine High School Principal Denise Taylor ran into Bill Solleder, marketing director of Visit Hot Springs, and the two discussed the school and band program. During that conversation, they realized a marching band had never performed in the local St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Approximately 30,000 people line the streets for the 98-foot-long parade route. For the 40-member marching band, it was one of the biggest performance events in its history, Johns says.

The band performed the school’s fight song along with “Rock and Roll” (also known as “The Hey Song”). It also debuted a new cadence, “Jig II,” arranged by percussion section leader Tyler Caswell.

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Photo courtesy of David Yerby.

About author

Nicole Roberts

Nicole Roberts is the city hall reporter for the News Tribune in Jefferson City, Missouri. She graduated from Missouri State University with a degree in print/internet journalism and a minor in psychology. She played clarinet in the Missouri State Pride Band and in her high school’s marching band.

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