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Members of the Spring Hill Marching Broncos pose for a photo in the band room before leaving for Hawaii to march in the Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade. The Marching Broncos were named grand champions of the parade Tuesday, Dec. 7.

SPRING HILL — A vacation to Hawaii is always a memorable experience, but for the Spring Hill Marching Broncos, their recent trip to the Aloha State was better than they ever expected.

Not only did they get to march in the Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade on Tuesday, Dec. 7, along with about 20 other marching bands from throughout the country, but they later were named grand champions of the parade, claiming the top honor presented at the event.

It was extra special because the parade was commemorating the 80th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that thrust the United States of America into World War II.

“It’s really been an awesome trip,” Band Director Daniel Wooge said Dec. 8 from his hotel room in Hawaii.

Wooge left for Hawaii Sunday, Dec. 5, along with nearly 100 Spring Hill band and color guard members and about 20 parents.

Their routine in the parade Dec. 7 was the same one local residents enjoyed in September during the Spring Hill Fall Festival Parade. Wooge said he was proud of their performance, especially when he learned they had won the top honor, which came with a trophy featuring a tiki figurine at the top.

Video of the Spring Hill Marching Broncos being named grand champions of the Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade can be seen at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=shLs0UwKUrk&t=6166s.

Wooge said the presentation definitely came as a surprise and was a tremendous honor.

“There were lots of bands from bigger schools,” Wooge said.

In addition to the parade, the Spring Hill students got to see a lot of what Hawaii has to offer, including visits to the USS Missouri, USS Arizona, macadamia nut and pineapple plantations and general sightseeing spots around Honolulu.

They weren’t even deterred by heavy rainfall Monday, Dec. 6.

The group returned home on Thursday, Dec. 9.

Wooge said the band typically takes trips every two years, so there likely will be a year off next year before their next adventure. Previous trips include visits to New Orleans, San Diego and San Antonio.

Senior Managing Editor Brian McCauley can be reached at (913) 294-2311 or brian.mccauley@miconews.com.

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