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How to Get Your Marching Band to the 5 Best Bowl Games

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by Rhoda Venture
Performance TripUncategorized

The excitement of bowl season is nearly palpable as late December closes in. Bowl pools are completed in every office, family gathering, and online, while the big games are hyped on all channels. If you’ve ever attended a bowl game, you’ve heard the stadium roar to a fevered pitch as the crowd anticipates kick-off! What a rush! Do you know what’s even better?  Being right in the middle of the action! Here’s how to get your marching band to the 5 best bowl games.

Marching Band Bowl Game

The Benefits of Performing in a Bowl Game

Performing in bowl games gives high school bands a national stage on which to showcase their talents. It’s an opportunity to travel and see more of the world than just their home fields. Most importantly, it inspires school spirit and brings communities together – shaping memories and boosting music programs.

Why a Bowl Game?

There are a select few who have had the chance to be a part of the pre-game festivities for these exciting competitions. High school marching bands from around the country (sometimes the world!) converge on bowl locations to kick off the action and set the tone for fanatical game attendees.

Audiences of thousands watch as these talented musicians wow the crowds with spirit and skill. It is truly a magnificent experience for both participants and viewers and a memory to keep for a lifetime.

bowl game

Getting Ready for a Bowl Game

Preparing for a bowl game is a great way to develop important skills like leadership, teamwork, and time management.  After the Friday night lights dim and competition season wraps up, there’s still work to be done!

Bowl games demand a high-level performance, so student musicians learn to excel in a high-pressure environment. These iconic venues often come with well-known professional adjudicators who share invaluable feedback about your program.

teen friends

But it’s not all work and no play!  One of the greatest parts of performing in a bowl game is meeting and playing with other student musicians from across the country. There are often network opportunities and social events that encourage students to get to know each other.

5 Best Bowl Games for Your High School Marching Band

There are lots of amazing bowl venues ready to host your band!  Here are 5 of our favorites…

How to Get Your Marching Band into the 5 Best Bowl Games

1. Reliaquest Bowl

The Reliaquest Bowl hosts young performers from across the nation at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida on New Year’s Day.

The Reliaquest Bowl Music Festival is a four-day event packed with performances, competitions, and clinics – including The Reliaquest Bowl Parade and Pep Rally on New Year’s Eve.

The halftime show has as many as 15 high school marching bands and 300 dancers taking part in a jaw-dropping mass performance in front of nearly 10,000 fans!

2. Military Bowl

The Military Bowl is a spirited display of patriotism as the Budweiser Clydesdales lead the Military Bowl Parade in Annapolis, Maryland. You’ll energize the crowd during your pre-game trek to Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.

3. Tournament of Roses

The iconic Tournament of Roses® Parade in Pasadena, California is “America’s New Year’s Celebration.” It’s a time-honored tradition for 134 years featuring magnificent floral-decorated floats, equestrian units, bands, and more.

The parade route begins at 8:00 AM at the corner of Green Street and Orange Grove Blvd and winds 5 1/2 miles through the city.  Most of the viewing takes place once it reaches Colorado Blvd.

4. Fiesta Bowl

Showcase your marching band as part of the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade.  Festive floats and giant balloons contribute to an impressive display of skill and showmanship as the parade route winds through Central Phoenix.

In many cases, participating in a bowl game puts your students in the national (or international) spotlight since games and parades are often televised. It’s a thrilling performance opportunity!

5. Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl

Start the new year at Mercedes-Benz Stadium with a performance in front of a crowd of more than 79,000 cheering fans at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Pregame Show.  It’s one of those snapshot moments that your students will remember for a lifetime!

Bands can also participate in the magnificent Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Parade through downtown Atlanta or take part in optional competitions and festivals with nationally recognized adjudicators.

How Do We Apply for A Bowl Game?

While some of the bowl organizations use an “invitation only” approach to selecting bands, others require well-crafted applications for inclusion.

Most bowl games accept applicants based on factors like:

marching band bowl application checklist

Make it Easy and Plan Your Bowl Game Performance with a Partner

One of the best ways to wade through the process of performing in a bowl parade is to partner with an experienced company specializing in student performance travel.

Kaleidoscope Adventures is an outstanding choice with more than 30 years in the industry and granular attention to detail. You can be confident that they’ll get you to the big event with ease!


Now is the Time to Plan Your Bowl Performance for 2025

Why perform at a bowl game?  It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience not to be missed!  This year’s bowl season is nearly here but  Bowl Season 2025 is on the doorstep.

Applications are typically due a year in advance and hotels book early as well. Now is the time to begin planning your bowl performance travel (or start saving for those bowl game tickets!)

Get Your Marching Band to one of the 5 Best Bowl Games

It takes a ton of time, a lot of prep, (and more than a little bit of fundraising,) but performing at a bowl game is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Give your talented musicians a chance to shine at one of these incredible venues!

Related Reading: Top 5 Holiday Parades for Bands

top 5 holiday parades for marching bands

Why Kaleidoscope Adventures?

As a leader in the student travel industry for 30+ years, Kaleidoscope Adventures exceeds expectations for student and performance group travel.

We’ll work with you to plan an exceptional travel experience and provide impeccable customer service from start to finish

Learn More

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