The Cal Poly Mustang Marching Band has been invited to perform in the Alaska Airlines Chinese New Year Parade on Feb. 19 in San Francisco. 

“It’s a big honor to be invited to a nationally recognized parade like this, especially for a college marching band,” music freshman Ari Maman said.

Cal Poly made its first appearance at the parade in 2014 with this year’s parade being the seventh one the Mustangs will participate in. The parade was canceled in 2021 due to COVID-19.

The Mustang Band has been awarded first place in the adult marching bands category at every appearance they have made.

In preparation for the parade, Maman said that the Mustang Band is conducting additional weekend practices to their normal weekly ones. Maman said their emphasis on the weekends is marching.

The Mustang Band and the UC Davis marching Band will continue their tradition of performing together before the start of the parade. At the Ferry Building on the San Francisco Embarcadero, the two bands will play some of their favorite pep and postgame tunes.

The parade began in the 1860s as a way for the Chinese community in San Francisco to educate and share their culture with the rest of the community. Today, the combined parade and festival are the largest celebrations of Asian culture outside of Asia and has been recognized as one of the top 10 parades in the world by the International Festivals and Events Association

“This is going to be the biggest parade I’ve been in,” Maman said. “I’m very excited for this opportunity.”

The parade will begin at 6 p.m. on Feb. 19 and will be streamed from the parade’s Facebook page.

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