Winter Guard International Championships return to Dayton for a second weekend
DAYTON, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) - The Winter Guard International Championships are back, providing a major boost to the region.
Every last second of practice counts, when you're competing against the World's best.
“There's definitely a military precision about it, doing the same thing at the same time,” drummer Ryan Ellis said. “It definitely takes us all year to perfect it.”
Ellis is part of Rhythm X, a Dayton group ready to defend its home turf.
“Having the championship so close is really convenient, support from our family and friends and stuff,” Ellis said.
Most teams come from all over the world.
“Actually this weekend we had a group come from Thailand here,” Bart Woodley said.
Woodley runs the WGI championships.
This is the second weekend of events. Color guards competed two weeks ago and now it's musicians.
“It really takes the athleticism of any athletic event and combines it with the pageantry you might expect on a Broadway stage,” Woodley said.
Between the two weekends, around 13 thousand will perform. The events generate $19 million for the local economy.
“We're expecting a huge crowd and once again we'll be filling every hotel, every gymnasium over the course of the weekend,” Woodley said.
Ellis is soaking it in, hoping to rally some home field advantage.
“It's really great to be able to perform in front of so many people that support us,” Ellis said.
The WGI championships are held at four different arenas including UD arena and the Nutter Center.
The three-day competition runs through Saturday.