Event a big show of support for Elyria High marching band
Joe Medici and Rania Shakkour
ELYRIA — The Elyria High School Pioneer Marching Band Appreciation Day started off hot — literally.
Temperatures hit a high of 82 degrees during the morning and early afternoon hours as residents relaxed in the sunlight, with Jimmy Buffett and James Taylor tunes playing in the background.
“This is what Memorial Day weekend should be about,” said Gabriel Munoz of Elyria. “Sitting back on a nice day and enjoying some festival foods.”
Several groups of students from local schools made their way through the festival, visiting the assorted tents, grabbing free colored pencils and, of course, making the obligatory stop for an ice cream cone.
By midafternoon, however, it was a different story as dark clouds and high winds blew through Ely Square.
A severe storm warning momentarily prompted several volunteers from the Elyria Schools to take down some of the tents, fearing the high winds might topple them, but school spokeswoman Amy Kren said she still had faith that the concert at night would be a go.
“They just lifted the storm warning, and I have heard that the bulk of the bad weather is south of us, so hopefully we will still be able to hold the concert and the Community Top 10 Awards,” Kren said just before 4 p.m.
By 5 p.m., the skies had cleared, paving the way for a pleasant evening concert.
Just before the marching band performed, parent volunteers were handing out 1,000 pink cookies. Children and adults raised their hands in anticipation of the popular cookie. The schools’ food services have been making the cookies for years, and they have become well-known among students.
About 1,200 proud parents, alumni and community members were at the 8 p.m. performance.
Marsha Gibson, mother of senior Traci Gibson, a quad drum player, said she was proud of her daughter.
“This is her last performance,” Marsha choked. “It’s just a proud moment.”
The band opened by showering the crowd with inflatable balls, Frisbees, batons and silly string.
Pete Veliconia’s daughter, a sophomore flute player, also performed.
“I think it’s a great way to share their gift of music,” he said.
Contact Joe Medici at 329-7152
or firstname.lastname@example.org. Contact Rania Shakkour at 329-7127 or rshakkour@