Participating schools, schedule for East Georgia Festival at Womack Field:
Claxton 2 p.m.
Truetlen County 2:20 p.m.
New Hampstead 2:40 p.m.
Dodge County 3 p.m.
Washington-Wilkes 3:20 p.m.
Tattnall County 3:40 p.m.
Liberty County 4 p.m.
Screven County 4:20 p.m.
Southeast Bulloch 4:40 p.m.
Bradwell Institute 6:20 p.m.
Pierce County 6:40 p.m.
Wayne County 7 p.m.
Wheeler County 7:20 p.m.
Newnan 7:40 p.m.
South Effingham 8 p.m.
Effingham County 8:20 p.m.
Statesboro High 8:40 p.m.
Marching bands from high schools across southeast Georgia will be in Statesboro Saturday to compete in the 38th Annual East Georgia Marching Band Festival.
The gates will open at noon, and the competition begins at 2 p.m. on Womack Field at Statesboro High School.
According to Statesboro High band booster president Deb Champion, 16 southeast Georgia bands of all sizes, from Class A (18 members) to AAAAA (180 members) will compete. Participating bands include local marching band powerhouses Effingham and South Effingham High Schools, as well as the always entertaining smaller Southeast Bulloch High band, "The Swarm."
The Swarm also is the defending Grand Champion of the Festival, winning last year and in 2011.
Admission is free for children under 5, $5 for those between 6 and 12 years of age, and $7 for everyone else.
"We are expecting our largest festival in quite a few years," Champion said. "We absolutely couldn't do this without the help of all the boosters, parents, family, sponsors and friends."
Phillip Lewis, drum major for the Statesboro High band, is excited about the festival.
"It's a great event for people to come enjoy themselves and the bands that come to compete," he said.
Fellow band member Amy Presley, a senior front ensemble section leader, said: "It's really awesome to see what each school brings to the festival. Plus, we get to see the band friends we've made."
Mikala Champion, the Statesboro band's library sergeant, promises a great show.
"We are expecting the biggest and best festival since I've been at SHS," she said. "It will be a great, fun-filled day for all involved. Come out and enjoy the day with us and watch some great bands perform."
As the host school, rules prohibit Statesboro High from competing in the festival. The Blue Devils Marching Band, however, will perform a special exhibition at the end of the competition, while the judges tally all of the scores.
Concessions with a wide variety of food, drinks and sweets will be available at Womack Field. A number of vendors will be on hand, too, offering event memorabilia and videos of band performances.