FAIRMONT, W.Va. (WBOY) — North central West Virginia is getting ready to host a worldwide band competition.
The World Association of Marching Show Bands (WAMSB) has chosen Buckhannon to host the 2023 World Championships. During the competition high school, college and community bands from all over the world will come to West Virginia to perform for a chance to win.
Organizers describe it as the “Super Bowl for bands” and are excited for this to put a global spotlight on our corner of the world. With thousands expected to travel here, the organization committee needs more than just Upshur County on board to handle this large of an event.
Randy Sanders, president of the WAMSB organization committee, presented to the Marion County Commissioners on Wednesday about the event and how it will impact them.
“This is going to help all of West Virginia, particularly the central part of West Virginia,” Sanders said. “We need to utilize Marion County for the housing for a lot of our competitors and their followers, we need the restaurants, we need the businesses to open their doors and say, ‘yes, we’d love to have these international visitors come in a take part in our economic community.’”
Sanders has previously helped put together large-scale events such as the WV Strawberry Festival and the WV Three Rivers Festival. He said West Virginia is a state that knows how to put on live events and they want to show that to the world.
This WAMSB championship is an international event that has been running for 26 years. When it comes to WV in 2023 it will mark the second time the event has ever been hosted in the United States. More than 40 bands have already applied to compete with more still being accepted. One marching band that has registered is from Poland and has incorporated a few new band members that are refugees from Ukraine.
The WAMSB championship will be held from July 17 to 24, 2023, and will be hosted by West Virginia Wesleyan College. Additionally, East Fairmont High will host the opening ceremonies to represent Marion County.