opportunity to go to the 2000 Rose Bowl parade in Pasadena California. Being a part of the Grove City High School Marching Band as a flag corps member was one of the most enjoyable times of my high school career. We were invited by the parade president to come and march in the parade on New Year?s day.
Just finding out that we would be going to California was incredible. It took a lot of hard work and dedication to fundraise all the money to go. We sold everything under the sun that one could sell to make money. The total cost of the trip per person was about $4000. Because my Dad and I both went there was a lot of selling going on in my house.
Not only did we march in the biggest parade of the century but we also got to see the many sights that San Francisco and Los Angeles had to offer. Our entrance into various parks and attractions, our stay in 5-star hotels and all of our transportation were the reasons for the great cost. We did everything from the famous 17-mile coast drive, to Disneyland, to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. We were also named Grand Champion Band at Band Fest, a national band competition while we were in Pasadena. We visited Mann?s Chinese Theater, where the walk of fame is, and the Rose Bowl stadium itself. All of these different places were so exciting and unbelievable. We even got our picture taken on the Golden Gate Bridge.
Though we did see an abundance of breathtaking coastal scenes, and beautiful houses and mansions of the stars, I don?t think anything will be able to top the feeling of turning the corner onto California Boulevard. The parade itself was about seven miles long. During the long march, it was so awesome to see all the millions of people cheering in the stands along the way. I was overwhelmed with excitement, happiness and nervousness. This was what we had been practicing for, for an entire year. All the hours of hard work, marching in rain and cold and circling the track hundreds of times was worth it when we finally got there. Seven miles is a long way to march! But, when it was all over, I felt like I could have gone another seven miles with so much adrenaline built up from the excitement.
Our last day in California was a sad one. None of us wanted to leave the sandy beaches and fancy hotels that we had come to enjoy over the past eight days. But, the thought of returning home was a welcomed one. My mom and brother would be waiting anxiously for our arrival to Columbus once again. Though we did have some flight delays and it seemed like we were never going to get home, we did make it.
Being in the 2000 Rose Bowl parade will be an experience that holds special meaning to me for the rest of my life. My memories will live vividly inside of me for many years to come. I don?t think I will ever have an experience more enjoyable or fulfilling than knowing that I was part of one of the biggest parades of the 21st century.