Fort Madison Band Students Prepare for Chicago Trip

FMHS Band director Tracy Madsen leads a discussion Monday night about the band's trip to the Chicago St. Patrick's Day Parade. Photo by Aniah Ross/PCC Intern



FORT MADISON –  Fort Madison’s very own Marching Bloodhounds have the privilege of marching in a national parade once again this coming weekend. 90 students will be marching in the 2018 Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade.  Monday night band director Tracy Madsen hosted an informational meeting in the Fort Madison High School band room to inform chaperones, students attending the trip and their parents, of the itinerary, expectations and to ensure students marching in the parade were well prepared for the trip.

The band departs Friday afternoon and will be released for their fifth period class. The parade is Saturday and the Marching Bloodhounds are expected to step off at noon.

The Marching Bloodhounds along with teachers and chaperones are especially excited to attend this historical parade. The Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade stems from the mid 1800s when there was a large number of Irish citizens living in Chicago, but it wasn’t until a century later that the parades started happening. The first official parade was held in 1956, five years later is when they started dyeing the Chicago River green. To dye the river they dump in a chemical which is used to detect leaks and pollution in the water, the best part is it doesn’t harm the water. It just turned out that the chemical dyed the river a perfect green color.

So, in 1962, they poured a hundred pounds of dye into the river and it stayed green for a whole week. After many tests, they dimmed it down to 40 pounds of dye making it last up to five hours.

Not going to Chicago to watch the parade, but still want to support your Hounds? Don’t worry because you can watch it live on WLS-TV channel 7 or at and after the parade you can still view it from that same website.

The parade isn’t the only thing these students have to look forward to. They will also have the opportunities to walk and shop the Magnificent Mile, go to a Blue Man Group concert, visit Willis Tower, and explore Millenium Park. These students are in for a great trip.

The Marching Bloodhounds are scheduled to return to Fort Madison on Sunday around 8:30 pm.


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