Central High marches in Inaugural Parade

Central High School's marching band appeared in the 57th Inaugural Parade Monday afternoon.
parents and students watch inaugural parade (Karoline Wightman)
parents and students watch inaugural parade (Karoline Wightman)
LITTLE ROCK, AR - Central High School's marching band appeared in the 57th Inaugural Parade Monday afternoon.

103 students made the trip to Washington, DC while proud parents and fellow Little Rock Central High School students watched and cheered for the marching band on national television.

An exciting, historic moment for everyone involved. Jefferson Walker's son plays the saxophone. "Once in a lifetime this is for him, and I think today he finally grasped it when he sent a text saying he was getting ready to march, so it finally set in."

The band scrambled to come up with thousands of dollars needed to fund the trip, and thanks to the generosity of the community, their efforts paid off. Rebecca Streetts daughter is a senior and the only girl on the drum line. "The kids have worked so hard playing fundraisers all through their Christmas Break."

Robyn Vanover's son is a sophomore and says the trip is a whirlwind week of fun for the kids. "It's unbelievable. Their schedule is packed back to back going from one event to the other trying to see as much as they can while they're there. For a lot of kids, this might be their only opportunity to visit Washington, DC."

Streett says Central High's performance shows the country a new side of the school.
"I think it gives everybody a chance to see how far Central High School has come and what a wonderfully diverse, but coherent school we are."

Steven Hulsey is a senior at Central High and his brother and girlfriend are both in the band. "This is calling attention to our school in a light that's different from that of the civil rights crisis and shows how far our school has come, and how far we've come as a country."

Hulsey's father, Robert, says the wounds from that era have healed. "It's time that those of us who keep waiting for the wounds to heal to say no, they've healed. All you have to do is talk to the people in the band or any kid at Central."

84 groups with a combined total of nearly 15,000 participants performed in the parade. Central High is the only marching band in Arkansas selected to represent the state. The band returns home Wednesday.
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