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Wood River High Students March in Tournament of Roses Parade Two Years Straight
Sunday, January 2, 2022



Two Blaine County students spent New Year’s Day morning marching 5.5 miles in the 2022 Tournament of Roses Parade.

The temperature at the start of the 133-year-old parade in Pasadena was downright balmy—in the upper 40s--compared to the minus 8-degree temperatures that greeted skiers at Bald Mountain first thing in the morning.

This is the second year the two Wood River High School students have marched in the parade. They also got to march in the 2021 Tournament of Roses Parade.

Brandon Enders a junior, played the bass drum. Orrie DeShields, a freshman, played bass saxophone.

They trained, doing laps around the football field and building upper body strength, to carry the 15-pound bass drum and 20-pound baritone saxophone that far.

The two auditioned by tape and were chosen from hundreds of applicants from across the nation for the 300-member non-profit Music for All’s Bands of America Honor Band. The Sun Valley Museum of Art provided scholarships to help defray their travel expenses.

They were likely the first students from Idaho to be chosen to perform in the parade, according to WRHS Band Director Patrick Herb. Herb marched as a youngster in the Tournament of Roses Parade with his high school band from Honolulu, Hawaii.

This year’s band performed the Mamas & The Papas’ “California Dreaming,” “Children Will Listen” from “Into the Woods” and a couple other songs. Theirs was one of 20 marching bands, 43 floats decked out with flowers and 18 horse riding groups.

“The parade was fantastic and people are happy and in good spirits,” said Bellevue veterinarian Jennifer Card, who was in Pasadena to attend the bowl game between Utah Utes and the Ohio State Buckeyes. “Brandon and Orrie’s band was fantastic. As a horse vet, the horses are my favorite part. But the bands were awesome and, of course, the floats were incredibly beautiful.”

The parade crowd was said to be smaller than in years past, what with daily confirmed COVID infections doubling every two days in Los Angeles County. Nearly one in four people who are being tested in that county are testing positive.

Parade spectators 12 and older in grandstands and other ticketed areas needed to provide proof of vaccination or a negative test. And those 2 and older needed to wear masks.

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