NORTH RICHLAND HILLS -- Weekend jogs to get in shape for the 5.5-mile Rose Parade next month paid off for members of the All-Birdville Marching Band.
A 3-mile preview Wednesday of the 540-member band's performance in Pasadena, Calif., on Jan. 1 turned out to be much easier than several students expected.
Cheering fans lined sidewalks and curbs as the band marched from the Fine Arts/Athletic Complex, down Mid-Cities Boulevard to Smithfield Middle School on Main Street and back.
Spectators snapped photos and took video as the color guard and band marched by in new uniform jackets with a gold stylized B on the front and on their hats.
"You could hear people yelling out names, saying 'Congratulations,'" said Haltom High band President Everett Hoffman, 18, a trumpet player. "I put my uniform on in the bathroom and I realized, 'This is it. We're going to do this.' I'm excited."
The band played a 10-minute show on the athletic field, including a medley of armed forces songs, during which spectators were encouraged to stand if they were veterans or had relatives in the military.
Birdville Fine Arts Director Daniel Detrick told the crowd that the band is scheduled to be the 15th element in the lineup and is expected to appear on television in the first 30 minutes.
Today, the band members will pack their instruments and luggage in trailers that will be driven to California by band booster dads. The band is scheduled to depart Monday.
Jessamy Brown, 817-390-7326