More than 100,000 party-goers celebrated the new year with the Pride of Oklahoma.
The band performed at the annual Insight Fiesta Bowl Block party. The New Year's Eve event attracts local bands, entertainers, dueling piano players and motor cross jumpers. Pride of Oklahoma Blogger Jensen Mecca gives the inside scoop on the Insight Fiesta Bowl Block Party.
Last night, the band attended one of my favorite events of the trip: the Insight Fiesta Bowl Block Party. Following our afternoon rehearsal, we boarded the buses, changed into our uniforms - often a challenging feat with little elbowroom and lots of windows - and headed to downtown Tempe. We marched through the twinkle light-strewn streets in the pre-party parade, finishing in front of the Insight Mainstage for a battle of the bands against West Virginia.
The Mountaineer Marching Band sounded fantastic, although we did cheer when we saw their flip folders - the Pride memorizes all of the songs in its repertoire, so we leave our music in our cases, a point that we tend to emphasize in competitive settings. The battle of the bands was great, with all of us shoved shoulder to shoulder and playing our lungs out. There's nothing cooler than a huge crowd of excited band people.
After the battle, we headed back to the buses to change into our New Year's Eve finest. We had the rest of the night to enjoy the block party, which included 40 bands, a carnival, and lots of small shows and attractions. I hung out with a group composed largely of mellophones - we tend to stick together - and had a great time.
We got ice cream, cheered on one of our number in an air guitar competition - he did an excellent job - and settled in with hot chocolate to watch Barenaked Ladies, the headline band, and wait for the countdown to midnight.
Barenaked Ladies, one of my favorite bands from back in the day, put on a great show, although we were all more than a little chilly watching it.
The fireworks show at midnight, however, was by far my favorite part of the evening. I listened to Barenaked Ladies play "Auld Lang Syne" and watched the gorgeous show overhead, surrounded by some of my closest friends. It was truly a night to remember.
Now, only one more day until the big game! Boomer Sooner!