High school marching bands from throughout the region will fill Wicomico County Stadium that night with the exciting sights and sounds of their field show as bands tune up for the impending championship events. (Makeup day is Oct. 16, if needed due to weather.)
Between bands, parents, and spectators, the Delmarvacade is expected to draw thousands of people to the stadium. Bands will compete starting at 5:30 p.m., with each band performing the kind of field show people are accustomed to seeing at halftime of football games. Each performance will last seven to 12 minutes, and a new band will take the field about every 15 minutes.
The event is sponsored by Parkside High School and its Band Boosters. It will be adjudicated by professional judges of the National Judges Association. Bands will be judged on every aspect of their field show, including both musical and visual elements, individual and group elements, as well as the overall general effect of the show. Each band will receive a score based on a 100-point scale, and a trophy.
Bands will compete in four categories, depending on the number of instrumentalists in the band. Parkside High and Bennett are in Group 3 Open Class, and Wicomico is in Group 3 A Class. Parkside, as host, will perform in exhibition. There will be an awards ceremony at the end of the night.
Marching bands often stay all evening, even after they have competed. "They support each other, even though they are rivals," says Gary Beauchamp, supervisor of fine and performing arts for Wicomico schools and the founder of the event in 1977. Students know they are competing not just against each other, but against their own previous performances, trying to make this one just a little bit better.
Admission to Delmarvacade of Bands is $8. A program detailing the participants, with a score sheet to keep track of how the bands are doing, is $5. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Women Supporting Women of Salisbury.