GLOVERSVILLE—The city was alive with the sound of music on Sunday as hundreds of spectators and performers made their way to Park Terrace Elementary School for the Drum Corp International 2018 Cavalcade of Champions.
The Cavalcade of Champions returned to the city Sunday night after nearly 30 years, featuring performances by four drum corps competing for a place in this year’s DCI national finals, a performance by the Avant Garde Alumni Drumline from the Mohawk Valley and recognition for Joseph J. Chizek, a city man who was inducted into the Buglers Hall of Fame, at Husky Field at Park Terrace Elementary School.
DCI is a non-profit group that governs and organizes events featuring traveling groups of competitive drum corps comprised of members aged 13 to 21.
Competing bands featured choreographed performances by dozens of marching drummers, brass musicians and costumed color guard performers. Teams included the 7th Regiment from New London, Conn.; the Legends from Kalamazoo, Mich.; the Raiders from Burlington, N.J.; and The Spartans from Nashua, N.H.
Before the show, groups of performers sprawled across the campus at Park Terrace practicing their individual arts once more before taking the field, giving attendants a preview as they made their way to the stands.
Several hundred people were present during the Cavalcade of Champions with each drum corps touring with about 100 performers, organizers and chaperones and about 400 to 500 tickets to the event sold, according to Fulton County Center for Regional Growth President and CEO Ronald Peters.
The CRG organized the event and was put on with assistance from the city, the Gloversville Enlarged School District and the Fulton Montgomery Regional Chamber of Commerce.
“I think it went well last night. I was impressed with the quality from the people participating. My wife and I had a great time. I would also say that I thought the city departments who were involved, and also Ron Peters and the CRG and all the volunteers, did a great job. I think it was a great event and I would love to have it come back next year,” Mayor Dayton King said Monday.
Peters approached the GESD Board of Education along with King and Councilman-at-Large Vincent DeSantis in April to request permission to use Husky Field to host the event, saying the city could secure the event annually if it moved ahead this year.
“We’ve been asked to do it again next year so we’re going to look at keeping it as an event occurring on an annual basis, that’s our goal right now,” Peters said.
City officials initially estimated 1,500 people would attend the event in its first year, Peters said Monday ticket sales fell short of expectations on Sunday due in part to the weather forecast that earlier in the week called for scattered thunderstorms.
“It was a tough week for weather, it looked like it was going to be a bad weather day until the day of the event. That was tough, that hurt a lot,” Peters said. “That made ticket sales, I think, drop down a little bit.”
Overall Peters said the event was a success, viewing the turnout optimistically.
“I think the event was a complete success. It brought between 400 and 500 people into Gloversville on a Sunday night, they enjoyed the performance and there were a lot of people that were very, very happy with the way it rolled out,” Peters said. “The whole event required a tremendous amount of coordination with the city and Fulton County Emergency Management.”
The city and county provided support during the exhibition with the city transit department shuttling attendants from downtown parking lots to the school, city police directing traffic, the Department of Public Works setting up barriers and the city fire department, Fulton County Fire Coordinator and the Ambulance Service of Fulton County on hand.
“Between the city and the county and [the CRG] things went smoothly, but we did see areas where we could probably improve,” Peters said. “Parking is always an issue with things like this.”
During the event, parking at Park Terrace was restricted to vehicles with the drum corps, with each corp traveling with about six full size tractor trailers and buses. While shuttle service from downtown parking lots was available, many people parked on city streets surrounding the school and in Myers Park behind the school.
“Parking tractor trailers is always a feat in itself,” Peters said.
Peters said the planning committee for the event would meet next week to discuss this year’s exhibition and to make suggestions for next year.
“It’s a growing process, evolving as it goes,” Peters said. “It was the first event and naturally you work out any wrinkles.”
To grow attendance for the event city officials hoped would be an economic driver for city, Peters said advertising should be increased next year.
“We probably could have done more advertising, but it’s our first time trying the event so you kind of learn as you go,” Peters said.
King also suggested holding the event on a Saturday night and lowering ticket prices as possible ways to increase attendance. Presale tickets for the event were $22 to $25 each and day of tickets were $30.
Peters noted the event was attended by both locals and people from out of state, including some from Maryland and New Jersey.
“They follow these events and they were happy it was here,” Peters said. “I had a lot of people coming up saying it was a great event.”
Peters added that he had a good time attending the event, too.
“I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was my first time watching an event like that and it was a lot of fun,” he said.