NY Mills Marching Eagles Soar to Chicago
Marching down the streets of Six Flags Great America, the New York Mills Marching Eagles performed for many Chicago tourists, impressing spectators with a melody of Espa?a, Sweet Sweet Spirit, and On Broadway. Ready at 8 a.m. on Monday morning, t...
Marching down the streets of Six Flags Great America, the New York Mills Marching Eagles performed for many Chicago tourists, impressing spectators with a melody of Espa?a, Sweet Sweet Spirit, and On Broadway. Ready at 8 a.m. on Monday morning, the two coach buses carried the 102 band students on the long drive to the Windy City. At 11 a.m. on Tuesday morning the band stepped onto the onyx-colored streets of Six Flags, blowing away onlookers with every enthusiastic note. This marching band trip was the first for many, except the seniors, who have made appearances in the streets of Traverse City in 2002 and Disney World in 2004.
Extremely impressed with the band's performance, Mr. Brown teased by telling us another performance had been scheduled for the next day. This meant a one-hour earlier wake-up call, but thankfully he was joking.
The band students stayed at Six Flags until 9 p.m. A two-hour wait for one of the newest rollercoasters, Superman, was far too long, especially when it kept having "technical difficulties," so I let others be the judge. Anyone who rode it said it was well worth the wait. I didn't mind because, besides Superman, I went on every other rollercoaster in the park. Among the best were Raging Bull, Batman, and Deja Vu. Perfect for cooling off on a hot day in Chicago, the newly opened water park, Hurricane Harbor, was also a major attraction.
With marching done for the rest of the trip, Wednesday's schedule brought much excitement. Visiting the Shedd Aquarium in the morning, the group experienced the world's largest indoor water aquarium, with more than 8,000 aquatic animals. Pacific white-sided dolphins, beluga whales, sharks, and piranhas are just a few of the underwater animals we observed.
Scheduled next on the agenda was a walk down Navy Pier. Endless entertainment and shopping stores galore could occupy most tourists for hours. Because there are only so many hours in a day and so much more to see, our tour proceeded onward. The buses traveled back into mainland to hear the roaring, squawking, and grunting animals that occupied the next destination--Lincoln Park Zoo. By the end of the animal attractions and shopping, hunger set in.
Game and sports lovers got their fill at ESPN Zone later in the evening. The band students and I ate a filling buffet supper, watched the NBA draft on some of the 150 surrounding TV monitors, and engaged in many video game competitions. The night's conclusion was still yet to come.
The main highlight of the trip began when the sun went down. Some students' fear of heights didn't stop them from venturing onto the elevator going up at a rate of 1,600 feet per minute to the 103rd story of the Sears Tower. Concluding with an array of fireworks shot from a boat at the Navy Pier beneath us along the Chicago City skyline, the trip to Chicago felt complete.
Sweatshirts are a must when on the skydeck of a building 1,353 feet in the air. Even on a hot day, with the air conditioning on, it gets a bit cold. The weather on top is a lot different from the weather below. On a clear day, it is said that visibility is approximately 40-50 miles where Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan can be seen.
After some time of looking out the windows the sky showed fog surrounding us. Only later did we realize a rain cloud formed around the skyscraper was the culprit of the unforgiving haze. Unlucky for us, a surprise thunderstorm showed up as weather conditions worsened.
My favorite sight-seeing experience from atop the Sears Tower was definitely watching the lightning storm off in the distance creep closer with every passing minute. As the rain and clouds drowned out the sight of distant fireworks and city skyline, flashes of lightning illuminated the sky. Soon the lightning streaked close enough to the building to spark some fear into courageous individuals. We were trapped in the midst the storm. Thankfully we survived the elevator plunge with nothing but memories and pictures to reflect upon.
The New York Mills Marching Eagles endured the trip with much excitement and laughter. Arriving back in Mills at 8 a.m. on Thursday morning, the band students are sure to have many unforgettable memories to take with them for the rest of their lives. Hopefully the New York Mills Marching Eagles will continue to soar even after the sad farewell to Mr. Brown. Two more parades are still scheduled for the Marching Eagles--Menahga on July 8 and Detroit Lakes on July 16.