Pickerington Rose Bowl bound

Messenger photo by Joe Wyse
Hayleigh Brennan hugs senior Kate Ellsworth after hearing that Pickerington would be performing in the Rose Bowl parade. "We’re going to California!" Brennan said.

Members of the Pickerington High School Central band are smelling roses.

After the Oct. 17 half-time performance in the Pickerington Central vs. Grove City football game, band members received the exciting news that they were invited to perform in the 2010 Rose Bowl parade Jan. 1 in Pasadena, Calif.

Gary DiSano, President of the Tournament of Roses 2010 Parade, extended the invitation via a telephone call and over the loudspeakers.

Not one band member moved or betrayed emotion upon hearing the news, but as soon as they were dismissed, the band ran excitedly off the field to celebrate.

Gathering at the bleachers at the end zone, band members crowded around Mike Sewell, the director of bands, to receive roses and the occasional hug.

"I’m not going to lie, I want a rose," band members said.

The invitation to the Rose Bowl Parade includes current seniors, who will be allowed to come back to play even though they will have already graduated.

Besides being invited to perform in the Rose Bowl parade, Pickerington Central High School also has been invited to perform in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York next year.

According to Sewell, Pickerington Central is only the second high school ever to be invited to both the Macy’s parade and the Rose Bowl parade.

"We’re able to do this because of the people that came before us," Sewell said, "and now we have a responsibility to the people who will come after us."

Kati Ackermann, a senior who was a freshman when the band was last invited to perform in the Rose Bowl parade, said, "The Rose Bowl was my first big parade, and now it will be my last big parade."

Senior Joel Newhouse, dressed as singer Axel Rose from the band "Guns N’ Roses" for senior night, said, "It’s incredible. The only way I know how to describe it is as a once in a lifetime event, but apparently I’m going to experience it twice."

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