The Pride of Mississippi Marching band has its first Screamin’ Eagle Dash 5K run, Jan. 24 at 3 p.m. starting at Pride Field and going around campus. The band and Dixie Darlings are raising money for their trip to Ireland this semester with their 5K event. -Susan Broadbridge
The Pride of Mississippi Marching Band and Dixie Darlings are set to travel to Ireland March 12 to perform March 17 in Dublin’s 2015 St. Patrick’s Day parade.
To fundraise for its prospective trip, the marching band will host its first Screamin’ Eagle Dash 5K run and 1 mile fun run, Jan. 24 at 3 p.m. starting at Pride Field and making a loop throughout Hattiesburg’s Southern Miss campus.
Students coordinated the 5K in efforts to reduce travel costs. “Fundraising is critical for a trip like this,” said Gunner Vowel, senior music education major, captain of the drum line and 5K race co-director. “It takes a pretty penny to get such a large organization from one continent to another.”
The Pride will travel to Dublin as a result of an invitation to march in the country’s largest parade, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
“We’re really excited about the opportunity to travel and experience another culture, as well as getting to showcase our talents,” Vowel said.
Marching performances have occurred many times throughout the history of The Pride of Mississippi. This march will be the band’s third opportunity to march in Ireland’s St. Patrick’s Day parade in the past 30 years.
The band also marched in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade five years ago. The parade will stream through an online feed from a national television channel in Ireland.
“That experience alone is going to be rewarding, and taking in the culture of another place in this world is valuable for our students,” said Assistant Director of Bands and music instructor James Standland.
“The university is going to be proud to have The Pride of Mississippi represent them in the largest parade in Ireland,” Standland said. “I’m just excited that many students are going and to see their reactions. Many of them haven’t left the southeast, much less left the country.”
Nearly 130 Pride of Mississippi members will attend the parade, from guests to grandparents who are dedicated to watching the band perform. The group plans to return to the U.S. March 19.
The 5K winners will receive engraved medals for grandmaster, master and Golden Eagle runners, as well as awards for a top runner in each age category.
The “Fastest Stroller” and “Eagle Pride Award” for the most-animated outfit will receive award certificates.
The Pride of Mississippi and Dixie Darlings will be featured at the event providing fun entertainment. There will be live music from Rayziano and Friends and food from Jimbo’s Southern-Style Catering.
One lucky participant’s name will be drawn to win an emerald donated by Parris Jewelers.
The 5K’s general registration cost is $30. Members of Pine Belt Pacers and Southern Miss students with ID may register for $25.
Those wanting to participate in the 5K run, 5K stroller or kids fun run may pre-register online or register the day of the event.