Wells Fargo Sun Bowl here we come!
For a record-setting fifth year in a row, the Purdue “All-American” Marching Band is bowl bound. This time it’s the Dec. 31 Wells Fargo Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas!
Acting AAMB Director Bill Kisinger just returned from a site visit to El Paso late Thursday, and here’s what we know. Remember that bowl information changes constantly so check our web site frequently to get the latest schedule updates.
Hawthorne Suites (800-618-0555), near the airport, will be the band’s headquarters during its five-day stay in El Paso. Plans call for us to leave out of Indianapolis on a DC 10 charter flight through Omni Air on the afternoon of Thursday, Dec. 27. The flight will leave at either 4 p.m. or 6 p.m. with the final determination to be made Dec. 11.
The AAMB’s first public performance will be at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Dec. 28, in a free Battle of the Bands with the Washington State Band at the El Paso Convention and Performing Arts Center at 10:30 a.m. Following that the band will enjoy a catered lunch on the center’s patio followed by an afternoon rehearsal. Plans call for band members to take in sunset over the mountains at Indian Cliffs Ranch and enjoy all the attractions (including a Cantina dinner) at this Texas attraction.
On Saturday, Dec. 29, rehearsal for the bowl show is the top priority but the band will make a major shopping stop for Tex-Mex souvenirs. It will be treated to an authentic Mexican dinner at the historic La Hacienda Restaurant which includes music by a mariachi band. Following that is an outing to Graham Central Station with its five dance venues.
Monday, Dec 30, promises to be a busy day filled with activities dedicated to raising fans spirits for the big game. An open rehearsal with both the Purdue and Washington State bands is being planned as well as a Purdue fan pep rally. At 4:30 p.m. Wells Fargo Fan Fiesta begins at the UTEP Swimming and Fitness Center. Both the Purdue and Washington State bands will be given a half hour to show off their playing abilities. Admission to the Fiesta is free, and it also features interactive games and a fireworks finale at 8:30 p.m.
AAMB members are looking forward to seeing Texas’ legendary open spaces and the Rio Grande River (which runs right by Hawthorne Suites) and experiencing the food, line dancing and hospitality that make Texas famous. “This is going to be a great trip. The band is going to have the time of its life,” says Kisinger.
The football game is set for 12:15 p.m. Texas time on Monday, Dec. 31 (tickets 765-494-3194 or 800-49-SPORT). The Purdue pregame show is at 11:50 a.m. Both the team and the band will fly home immediately following the game. Plans call for us to leave about 6 p.m. Texas time and hopefully arrive in West Lafayette in time to say “Happy New Year!”