Tornadoes to march in national parade

When U.S. Rep. Michelle Bachmann and U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar recommended that the Anoka High School Marching Tornadoes march in Washington, D.C.’s National Independence Day Parade, band director Ben Bussey wasn’t about to turn it down.

The Marching Tornadoes pose before boarding the charter bus that will take them to Washington, D.C. where they took part in the parade down Constitution Avenue as part of the national Independence Day event. Photo by Sue Austreng

The Marching Tornadoes pose before boarding the charter bus that will take them to Washington, D.C. where they will take part in the parade down Constitution Avenue as part of the national Independence Day event. Photo by Sue Austreng

“We were invited to apply last spring so we’ve been getting ready – thinking about it, planning it – for well over a year,” said Bussey as 50 marching band members hugged parents goodbye and posed for pictures in front of the high school before departing for the nation’s capital Monday afternoon.

“This is big. This is really big – we’re representing not just Anoka, but the state of Minnesota.” he said.

The Marching Tornadoes will perform the Minnesota March and the Anoka Tornado fight song as they march down Constitution Avenue during the Independence Day Parade July 4.

“After the parade, they’ve been invited to the South Lawn for the concert and fireworks that night, so it should be pretty exciting,” said band parent Sue Woodard.

In all, 130 units will march at the National Mall Thursday morning, July 4.

Although the parade will not be televised, live streaming is available at www.july4thparade.com.

Sue Austreng is at sue.austreng@ecm-inc.com

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