Grand Island Chamber hosts 80th annual Harvest of Harmony this weekend
GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - Downtown Grand Island will be filled with the sound of music as the 80th annual Harvest of Harmony parade gets underway Saturday morning.
The Grand Island Chamber of Commerce hosts Nebraska’s largest parade with entries from across the state.
This year, the Harvest of Harmony will include 96 marching bands, 97 float entries and 18 pageant contestants. Twenty-eight of the bands will also perform at the Field Competition, sponsored by Big Red Treats.
This year’s parade will feature three college bands: University of Nebraska Kearney, University of Nebraska at Omaha, and Wayne State College. The UNO and WSC bands will also perform an exhibition show at the field competition.
Participants will be “Marching through the Decades.” The Harvest of Harmony committee chose this as the theme to represent how Nebraska has grown through the decades, including a celebration of 80 years of the Harvest of Harmony parade, and the city of Grand Island’s 150th birthday.
GI Chamber Communication and Events Coordinator Karissa Schmidt said they were super excited that the 80th parade landed on the city’s 150th.
“Just as much as it’s about Harvest of Harmony, it’s about Grand Island because it has been hosted in Grand Island for 80 years,” she said.
She said the parade brings thousands of people to the city and is really a benefit for Grand Island and the local economy.
“It’s really great for Grand Island,” she said. “It’s great for our businesses that’s something that we will continue to do.”
She said it’s important to show all these students who are marching on the streets what Grand Island is like.
The parade will follow a familiar route as in year’s past as the Eddy Street underpass is back open.
The first parade entry is scheduled to step off at 8:15 a.m. Attendees will enjoy a wide variety of floats, bands, and pageant candidates throughout the morning.
Unfortunately, Schmidt said there will be no live stream of the parade. She said it’s something they are working to fix in the future but due to licensing of the songs that more than 90 bands will play, it’s not possible at this time.
Immediately following the parade is the Harvest of Harmony Field Competition, sponsored by Big Red Treats, taking place at Grand Island Senior High’s Memorial Stadium. The first field performance is set to start at 10 a.m. Gate admission is $10 for adults, $5 for students, and there is no admission charge for children ages six and under.
And Harvest of Harmony festivities actually begin on Friday with the pageant. It begins at 7 p.m. at College Park.
Harvest of Harmony pageant judges will select five finalists, including Miss Harvest of Harmony. The Miss Congeniality winner is voted on by the pageant candidates. All winners will be announced live at the pageant program.
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