Marching On at Cedar Point
The 2021 season has really flown by, and it’s already back to school time.
One of the things happening in the park right now is the return of marching bands and our Performance in the Park program here at Cedar Point. Mid-August means marching bands are finishing up their band camps and getting ready to kick off the high school football season. Cedar Point has a long history of hosting marching band performances, and many groups consider it a tradition to perform at the park.
We decided to ask the band directors themselves why they bring their students to Cedar Point to perform.
Brett Tomko, Band Director at Madison High School in Madison, Ohio told us, “This is now the fourth time the Madison high school band has marched at Cedar Point, and it is a highlight of the pre-season every year. As the director, I am always looking for a way to perform and something fun to end band camp with. Cedar Point is the perfect opportunity for both! We get to play and practice what we learned at camp and then have the rest of the day in the park. It is such a good bonding experience for the new members of the band with the upperclassmen. I usually have a squad competition during band camp and the winning squad gets to take me on the ride of their choice. The Directors get to have fun too! When I was in high school, we used to come and march at Cedar Point at the end of camp and that was a tradition. I wanted to have with my students as well. It could not be a better way to end camp!”
We also checked in with Steve Butcher, Band Director at Danville High School in Danville, Ohio. He told us, “We have been coming to Cedar Point nearly every year for many years, performing in the parades and enjoying a day in the park. Our students are always excited about this trip. Cedar Point always makes it easy to schedule and our students love the rides. The parade is right on the Main Midway, which gives our small band great exposure to people well beyond our own community. We even see people who aren’t with our group smiling and taking videos. The people at Cedar Point are great to work with, and the rides and experiences are the best of the best!”
Lastly, we asked our friends in Michigan why they travel all the way to O-H-I-O (see what I did there?) to perform. Chris Bennett, Band Director at Ida High School in Ida, Michigan told us, “For the Ida Marching Thunder, performing at Cedar Point is as much of a summer tradition as fireworks on the 4th of July! We always march at the end of our August band camp to reward the students for their hard work. This performance also helps us create a group identity and establish that band is as much about fun as hard work. There are even a few secret Ida Band traditions that are specifically tied to Cedar Point and our trip there each summer.
“As a director, I appreciate the fact that Cedar Point is constantly finding ways to improve the experience. Recent updates to the reservation policy, increased communication about performance logistics and available add-ons such as drink wristbands have made the trip to Cedar Point even more positive and easier for the students and director.”
So there you have it, straight from the band directors. If you’re visiting Cedar Point and are lucky enough to see one of the marching bands coming down the Main Midway, take a moment to stop, watch and listen. If you have a marching band interested in performing at Cedar Point, click here for details on the Performance in the Park program.
This story was written by Youth Sales Representative Marcie Sandine for Cedar Point’s blog.