The Purdue student body may only know their marching band based on their rehearsals every fall semester down Third Street. Therefore, it may surprise even diehard fans to learn of their exploits outside of Ross-Ade—walking in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade last Saturday in Dublin, Ireland!
As many students traveled near and far to celebrate their well-deserved break right before the arrival of finals, the Purdue Marching Band also packed their bags (and instruments and parents—oh, and the World’s Largest Drum!) for this historic event at the heart of the Emerald Isle. The invitation to attend was only received by thirteen other university bands to perform, two of which were outside the U.S.
The almost 400 members of the Marching Band might have put on a dozen other performances abroad, but the St. Patrick’s Day Parade marked the first time the World’s Largest Drum was brought along to showcase Purdue and its band. Other monumental achievements the marching band has attended include the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2010, and an invitation to perform in China by China’s Ministry of Culture. The “All American” Marching Band has also been a central figure in the Indianapolis 500 race since 1919.
The Dublin parade brought a sweeping end to the band’s weeklong trip in Ireland. After arriving on March 11th, the itinerary kicked off in Shannon, Ireland and continued to Galway, Bunratty Castle, the Ring of Kerry, and St. Patrick’s cathedral to name a few. Like all Boilermakers, the band represented the strength of Purdue students abroad and added yet another “first” to its impressive list of accomplishments.