|Members of the Londonderry High School Lancers band got in some practice time
shortly after arriving at their hotel in California Tuesday afternoon. COURTESY PHOTO
Union Leader Correspondent
LONDONDERRY -- Next stop, sunny Pasadena.
Buses carrying 305 members of Londonderry High School’s Lancers marching band and color guard departed for Logan Airport before dawn Tuesday morning, amid much fireworks and snow.
The Lancers and their adult chaperones began arriving at the high school shortly before 3 a.m. on Dec. 28, Friends of Music spokesman Pollyann Winslowsaid last night.
Within 45 minutes, the buses were loaded, and pulled out of the high school parking lot accompanied by bursts of white fireworks, courtesy of Atlas Fireworks, as each bus made its way past the electronic sign that had been counting down to this day since March. A cavalcade of Londonderry police cruisers escorted the caravan to Interstate 93, where groups of students boarded their respective planes bound for California. By Tuesday afternoon, the sign had been darkened, no longer counting down its glowing red letters.
Londonderry’s Lancers will represent both New England and New York State in the Rose Bowl parade. The band previously participated in the 1992, 1997 and 2004 parades.
Television coverage for the event is worldwide and includes most major networks, not to mention the millions of spectators the Lancers will march past along the parade route. Viewers in 206 countries are expected to tune in to the event, which will be viewed on television by an estimated 60 million Americans.
As the parade’s Unit 74, those watching at home may tune in to the Lancers’ performance at approximately 12:30 p.m. Eastern Standard time. The event will air locally on the Home and Garden channel and will also be video streamed live over the Internet.
The Lancers’ five-day tour will also include performances at Disneyland and Pasadena City College. They will return to Londonderry on Jan. 2, 2011.