Bandfest 2017 takes over Orange Walk
Bandfest 2017 in Orange Walk
Brightly colored costumes, soulful music, and amazing food were only a few of the reasons hundreds were in attendance at the 12th installment of Band Fest, one of the biggest events on Belize’s social calendar.
Band Fest 2017 was held at the People’s Stadium in the northern district, Orange Walk, on Saturday, April 8. The event kicked off with a marching band parade through the streets of Orange Walk Town. Over 700 band members competed in the blazing heat for the championship, and the glory that comes with it.
Participating bands included: Corozal Community College, Orange Walk Uprising, Drum Corp, and the Holy Redeemer Marching Band. Other bands that took part at this year’s event were the Police Youth Cadet Corps, Wesley College, Mahogany Heights Dream, Southern Sounds Drum Corp, Stella Maris Futuristic, Sarteneja United Drum Corps, and Central Drum Corps. The event also featured performances from guest band Colegio Liceo Santa Cruz and Banda Latina LISCA from San Andres, Peten.
The bands competed in several categories, including best winds instrument, best drum corp, and most popular band.
The competition was tough, and the judges had their work cut out for them in deciding the winners. When the final scores were tallied, Corozal Community College took first place in the wind instrument category, netting themselves $6,000 cash and a trophy. Their win marked the third consecutive year the band has taken the top spot in that category. Following up in second place was the Wesley College Marching Band, with is debut performance at Band Fest. The team took home $2,500 cash and a trophy. The second place win was a testament to their level of preparation, being a first-time competitor in the event.
In the Drum Corp category, Southern Sound Drum Corp captured $4,000 cash prize along with a trophy. The Holy Redeemer Marching Band, secured the second place spot, with a cash prize of $2,00 and a trophy of their own to go with it. Each member of the Mahogany Heights Dream Marching Band received a third place medal to mark their victory in the competition.
Through overwhelming public support, the Holy Redeemer Marching Band won the most popular band category due to the amount of text messages sent in by viewers. They received $1000 cash for the achievement.
Orange Walk Uprising Drum Corp won the drumlins competition and $1000, while Corozal Community College won the trophy for most choreographed band.
Apart from having the support of thousands of Belizean spectators, the event also rallied tremendous private sector support, solidifying its place on next year’s calendar.
Photos by Belize Tourism Board