The Central Valley High School band got to school at 2 a.m. Friday to get ready for a national television performance.
But even after performing for viewers across the country on NBC’s “Today Show,” they’re still pumped up about joining tonight’s Lilac Festival Armed Forces Torchlight Parade.
The band will march tonight in front of about 100,000 people.
“To me, it’s more important,” said Eric Parker, a 17-year-old drum major. “With 100,000 people, the crowd will seem real.”
Dozens of marching bands and drill teams will perform in the twohour parade beginning at 7:45 p.m.
Andy Panda and Underdog, two 40-foot “Macy Parade-type” balloons, will roll through the downtown streets for the first time.
Inflated with helium and controlled by seven-person teams holding tethers, the balloons must be dragged sideways under the 14-foot skywalks along the route.
For a little while, the torchlight parade will take place in daylight. Sunset will be at 8:27 p.m.
The forecast is for sunny, warm weather today, with a high tempera ture of 70 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.
The parade will be televised live on KHQ-TV.
The toughest part of putting together their own television performance was the late notice, said Brad Constantine, the Central Valley band director, who learned of the opportunity Thursday afternoon.
KHQ, an NBC affiliate, had contacted the district Thursday afternoon, asking if a band could appear on the show early Friday.
Constantine said he gathered most of the band students together and they unanimously voted to appear on the show.
They came to Central Valley, then were bused to the Spokane Ag Trade Center, where the program was filmed.
“The Today Show’s” Willard Scott stopped in Spokane to participate in some Lilac Festival activities. He hung around with the students while the show was taped. Scott also met with Lilac Queen Carrie Keyes and the princesses.
The band played snippets of its school fight song and a Spanish marching song.
Although tired, the group was getting psyched up to march in the parade.
“We always rise to the occasion,” Constantine said.