DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN)- More than 40,000 people will pack UD Arena for the Winter Guard International Championships.
324 different groups from all over the world, including Canada and the Netherlands are taking part.
“It’s really important because this is a great experience for these kids. It’s an extension of their music education, keeping kids moving and they’re building great life skills that they’re going to use for the rest of their life,” says WGI Director Of Operations Bart Woodley.
The event is expected to bring in $15 million dollars to the Dayton area.
“It’s really awesome. It’s exciting. It just builds all week the excitement and the tourists coming in and the hotels are filled, the restaurants are filled so it’s great,” comments Lori Morris of Wilmington.
Some people like Katie Wehrley have been coming to this competition for years.
“For me, I competed with Miamisburg for many years, now my little sister is in it, she’s 16. And it’s just a really big joy and cool experience to see her perform every year. This is actually her first time at WGI so it’s really big for me and really big for her,” says Wehrley.
But, others had to drive hours to get here. It took the Lyman High guard from Longwood, Florida 17 hours.
“What do you think about Dayton? It’s cold. it’s cold. It’s cold. We’re used to the Sunshine State and the beach.”
The percussion competition will take place next weekend.
UD Arena is set to host the event through 2019.