BUCKHANNON, W.Va. — The World Association of Marching Show Bands (WAMSB) 2023 Competition less than a year away, and dozens of bands from across the globe will compete in downtown Buckhannon.
The competition will take place from July 17 to July 24, 2023. To date, 52 bands from 24 countries have submitted applications to compete for the title of world champion in several disciplines of music including marching performance, symphonic, percussion, auxiliary dance and more.
“This competition will bring the world’s most talented marching bands from around the world to Buckhannon,” said Randy Sanders, WAMSB 2023 Buckhannon Host Committee president. “This is going to be a world-class event.”
The competition will take place at West Virginia Wesleyan College’s Ross Stadium; and events in downtown Buckhannon are scheduled to take place throughout the week. Thousands of visitors are expected to attend. This will be the second time it will be held in the United States in the event’s 26-year history.
“Competing bands and visitors will be spread out in various places across the region, making their way to Buckhannon to experience all event week has to offer, while also having a chance to explore the offerings of nearby counties. I’d like to thank our regional partners who have met with us and allowed us to educate them on the various benefits this competition brings,” Sanders said.
Due to the competition, West Virginia stands to gain unique, long-lasting benefits. Exposure to the area will aid in long-term tourism, economic development, and investment opportunities with visiting international entities, dignitaries, and others.
“Highlighting West Virginia’s successful tourism industry, favorable economic climate and utilizing the competition to strengthen relationships between our leaders and foreign neighbors can create lasting benefits in West Virginia for generations,” stated Sanders. “The impacts go well beyond the excitement of the competition.”
Sanders said WAMSB officials have been traveling to several counties for meetings with county commissioners, economic development authorities and chambers of commerce to help prepare them for the event’s impacts.
The organization has also been raising funds to help ensure the one-of-a-kind event is a success. To date, contributions have been received from the City of Buckhannon in the amount of $100,000, the Dutch Miller Auto Group in the amount of $15,000, a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts for $10,000, the Randolph County Commission for $7,500, Jenkins Ford for $7,500, WE-R-FARMERS LLC – Mike Ross and I. L. Morris for $5,000, Harrison County Commission for $4,000 and Community Bank for $550.