The marching Bulldogs from Heuvelton Central School barked loudest among high school bands at Saturday's 51st Annual Seaway Festival Parade, claiming both overall and Class B titles with a total score of 89.95.
And if wasn't for a second place finish earlier this summer in Hammond, according to HCS Band Director Megan R. Wattie, the Heuvelton contingent would be working on a perfect season.
"We're absolutely thrilled," Ms. Wattie said. "It was a hot day and a lot for the kids to make it through. I'm extremely happy we performed as well as we did."
The Seaway Festival Parade victory followed first place finishes at parades in Morristown, Sacketts Harbor and at the Jefferson County Fair, as well as at last week's Battle of the Bands in Ogdensburg.
"They've worked hard and come a long way," Ms. Wattie added.
In Class B, Heuvelton was followed by the Golden Knights of Lisbon Central School at 88.50 and the host Blue Devils, from Ogdensburg Free Academy, at 86.10.
Morristown Central School's Green Rockets finished second overall and garnered Class C accolades with a total score of 89.25, with the Edwards-Knox Cougars rounding out the scoring at 82.65.
"We had a good day," said MCS Band Director Jill A. Roberts, surrounded by a sea of green t-shirts near the gazebo in Library Park for the awards ceremony. "Our energy was high, all the way through to the end."
Head Judge Jeff Howlett, a former band director for over 30 years at OFA, said he understands what a really hot day can mean for a high school band.
"Its a long, hot parade," Mr. Howlett said following the competition. "It takes a lot out of these kids."
Mr. Howlett explained that judging is based on a 100-point system, with 40 points pertaining to music, 30 to general effect, and another 30 to marching and maneuvering.
Heuvelton and Morristown, he said, split the highest musical score at 35.0, with Lisbon topping out for general effect at 26.5 and Edwards-Knox leading the way in marching at 29.15.
Lisbon Drum Majorette Gabrielle E. Walker, at 93.0, twirled her way to an overall major/majorette title, besting Tori Peabody, OFA, Samantha W. Hall, MCS, Brianna D. Kroniser, E-K, and Heuvelton's Abbey Basford and Derek Fenton.
Kris Newtown, of Lisbon, won the overall solo performance for his work on the trombone.
Other winners included OFA, for its flag and horn lines; Heuvelton, for rifles and batons and percussion; Lisbon, for its twirling flags; and Morristown, for its woodwinds and spirit. Its woodwind ensemble, also known as "The Cantina Band" was named best ensemble in the parade. Making up The Cantina Band are Amanda Bertrand on the alto saxophone, Karissa Bertrand on the piccolo, Bailey Holmes on the baritone saxophone, McKenzie Barse on the flute and Kurstyn Macaulay on the clarinet.