With more than five thousand people in the stands and more than a dozen bands at the event every year, organizers say this festival helps boost the local economy.
The event was a chance for the teams to practice for future competitions.
All schools participated in the preliminary competition earlier today, but just 12 will move on to the finals.
The grand champion of the night was United High School.
Our intention with collecting votes to keep the polls open and available to any participant to cast as many votes as they like for whichever band they supported, but trying to sustain that access for all caused frequent voting blocks, drew criticism from communities and enabled a few unsavory voting tactics.
The West Orange High School Marching Mountaineers will host the Third Annual Invitational competition on October. 10, from 5 p.m.to 9:30 p.m., at Suriano Stadium at West Orange High School, which is located at 51 Conforti Avenue.
Following their performance, band members and their families were treated to a tailgate spread by the Ridge High School Band Association in the MetLife parking lot.
“The idea is to try to tie together the music that we’re playing and that we’ve been learning for months now with visuals on the field”, said Merrill High School Band Director Kevin Short.
Three marching band invitationals of this kind have already taken place in the Downriver area this fall – at Trenton, Gibraltar’s Carlson High School, and Woodhaven.