SOURCE: Los Angeles County Fair Association

Los Angeles County Fair Association

February 25, 2009 13:32 ET

L.A. County Fair Band Competition Winners to March in Rose Parade®

Five-Year Agreement Signed Between Fair and Tournament Associations

POMONA, CA--(Marketwire - February 25, 2009) - The L.A. County Fair's prestigious high school marching band parade competition will hit its highest note yet this year with the addition of a new honor for the contest's victor: A spot in the internationally recognized Rose Parade®.

The honor stems from a five-year pact forged between the Los Angeles County Fair Association and the Tournament of Roses Association. This year's winner will march in the Tournament of Roses Parade Jan. 1, 2011, allowing the preparation time necessary for the world's best known parade.

"This is a remarkable opportunity for the outstanding bands that compete in our annual showcase, and one that will provide them with even greater distinction and recognition for their talents," said Dale Coleman, vice president of sales, marketing and creative programming for the Fair Association. "And it is an honor for the L.A. County Fair to work with the esteemed Tournament of Roses Parade."

The agreement is unique; the Fair's competition is the only high school band event in which the winner gets a berth in the Tournament of Roses Parade.

"We have a close and long-standing relationship with the L.A. County Fair which has just grown closer with this agreement," said Mitch Dorger, chief executive officer of the Tournament of Roses Association. "Over the years, we have been enormously impressed with the leadership and volunteer spirit of the Los Angeles County Fair Association, and we believe this new agreement will serve to significantly benefit both organizations and our respective events. We look forward to their winning bands joining us on New Year's Day."

In addition to vying for the chance to march in the Tournament of Roses parade, the bands will compete for the competition's top prizes of $5,000, $3,000 and $2,000 for first through third places respectively.

The L.A. County Fair High School Marching Band Parade Competition kicks off the band competition season. From its humble beginnings in the 1980s, the Fair's distinguished contest draws the top marching bands from throughout Southern California. In its current incarnation, bands march in festive parades held daily during the Fair. The Fair's expanded 2009 dates, Sept. 5 through Oct. 4 will allow for more bands than ever to compete, with spots available for 40 participants. Schools may contact the Fair's entertainment department, (909) 865-4506, for more information.

For 120 years, the Tournament of Roses Parade has featured majestic floral floats, high-stepping equestrian units and spirited marching bands. It is one of the staples of America's New Year's holiday.

Approximately 40 million Americans watch the Rose Parade on television, as well as millions of international viewers in more than 200 territories around the world. In addition, the Rose Parade is broadcast live by eight networks: ABC, NBC, HGTV, Tribune, Univision, Travel Channel, RFD-TV and Sky Link TV.

For the past several years, members of the Tournament of Roses Parade Music Committee have served as judges for the top 3 finalists of the Fair's band competition. They will continue to do so under the new agreement.

The L.A. County Fair is the largest county fair in North America and ranks in the Top Five among all North American fairs and exhibitions with an attendance of nearly 1.4 million. The Fair celebrates its 87th anniversary in 2009.

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