The Pride of Bixby Marching Band from Oklahoma took the overall award at this year’s Limerick International Band Championship.
For the second year running, the parade returned to the Henry Street route as the city streets were filled with the sounds of musicians from Ireland, the United States and Canada for what is a uniquely Limerick experience.
Three Limerick bands, the City of Limerick Pipe Band, Boherbouy Brass and Reed Band and Newcastle West and District Band, featured among the prizewinners.
400 members of the University of Florida’s Gator Marching Band were among the 1,500 musicians who provided musical entertainment for the thousands of spectators who braved wet weather to line the streets of the city.
19 marching bands competed this year, five from the United States along with 14 other groups from Canada, Northern Ireland, Donegal, Dublin, Kerry, Limerick, Tipperary and Westmeath.
Limerick Metropolitan District Council Cathaoirleach Oiliva O’Sullivan said there is a great international element to the championship which attracted a huge number of visitors over the weekend.
“It’s pretty incredible. We are the only ones in the country who have the International Band Championship and you can see that the people of Limerick appreciate that as they turned out in large numbers despite the weather.”
Judging panel member, Brad Snow of Missouri State University, said the Limerick Championship was far more intimate for the bands than other performance opportunities they have across the country.
“Travelling internationally is all about building those connections with the local people and that’s what really sets this competition apart,” he explained.
As is now tradition, the competing bands performed at the reviewing stand for three minutes as part of the judging process with the winners announced during a free jamboree for the public at Arthur’s Quay Park following the competition.
The winners were:
Overall Parade Champion- The Pride of Bixby Marching Band;
Best International Band – Burlington Teen Tour Band;
Best Youth Band – Grand View High School;
Best Local Band – Newcastle West and District Band;
Best Musical Performance – Banna Chluain Meala;
Best Uniform – Clondalkin Youth Band;
Most Entertaining Performance – The Friendship Band Northern Ireland;
Best Pipe Band – City of Limerick Pipe Band;
Special Judges Award (Best Drill) – Maghery Band Academy;
Special Judges Award (Best Repertoire) – Boherbouy Brass and Reed Band;
Special Judges Award (Pipe Band) – Killorglin and District Pipe Band.