Bands of America Grand National Championship returns after year off due to pandemic

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INDIANAPOLIS — Nearly 100 marching bands from across the country will perform over the next few days for the Bands of America Grand National Championship. 

The event returned Thursday after taking last year off due to the pandemic. 

All the different bands, their families and the spectators are expected to bring a big boom in business and millions of dollars worth of economic impact. 

“This is not something to just cross your eyes over because it’s a big one. We’re excited to welcome them back to Indy once again at Lucas Oil Stadium. So, a great venue. Lots of people, lots of eyes on Indianapolis. And they will have a healthy economic impact of $16 million this weekend,” said Visit Indy Communications Manager Nate Swick. 

The Grand National Championship will feature schools from more than a dozen different states, including some hometown bands from right here in the Hoosier state. 

Prelims are going until Friday, and the finals will be this Saturday. 

While they are in Indy, they are expected to do more than just perform. 

“They’ll be seeing all the sites and sounds of what Indy has to offer. I’ve even heard of groups going as far as the Hoosiers gym to be able to be part of that history. And it’s all the things that make Indiana a unique convention town,” said President & CEO Music For All Jeremy Earhart. 

Gates opened at 8 a.m. Thursday morning with the first school taking to the field at 8:45. 

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