Winter Guard International Championship brings in millions to Dayton

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – More than nine thousand people packed into the Dayton Arena Saturday night to check out World Premier Drum Lines.

“It just gets electric because the kids are so close to the audience that the interaction between them is just intense,” said Winter Guard International director of operations Bart Woodley.

For 38 years The Winter Guard International World Championship has been attracting bands, drum lines and color guards from across the globe, creating a huge event for the Dayton area every year.

“The folks at the convention and visitors bureau have told us that it is one of the largest conventions coming to town,” Woodley said.  “So certainly with 40,000 people here watching and participating and two weekends of championships. It’s definitely one of the largest things in the area for sure.”

Woodley says the Dayton Convention and Visitors Bureau estimates the Winter Guard International Championship brings in roughly 15 million dollars every year.

This year the non-profit youth organization added another division in the mix. Allowing indoor marching bands to compete.

“It’s a brand new division for us and we have one more whole day of competition this year. So, even more money coming into the area,” Woodley said.

Preston Watts drove all the way from Connecticut with his family to support a friend who’s competing and supporting Dayton at the same time.

“We got here Thursday morning and we just saw the town,” Watts said. “We went to the Air Force Museum and then yesterday we came to the competition, too. It’s a good time.”

The Winter Guard International Sport of the Arts championships signed with the city of Dayton to continue hosting the competition for the next four years. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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