HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The Mississippi Lions All-State Band won its fifth-straight championship in the International Parade of Champions competition this weekend.
Bands from over 156 different countries from across the world competed in this year's parade in Chicago, which marked its 100th anniversary. Mississippi continued its history of success in the competition by once again taking home the top prize.
"This is the second time that we've won five times in a row," band director Jeff Cannon said. "We've won a total of 33 times in the 67 years. We have not lost a parade in which we've completed since 1999."
Jeff Cannon has been the band's director for 24 years and is held in high regard by the 143 students of the band.
"I could just tell you from the day that they showed up that they were serious of purpose, they worked really really hard, they had great attitudes, they knew where the line was," Cannon said. "It was a good good time; they did it the right way. They represented Mississippi in every way they were supposed to, in every single facet from eating in restaurants to the hotel where we stayed, the parade."
Ocean Springs sophomore clarinet player Christian Chandler was grateful to have the opportunity to represent his home state. "It was amazing, it really was," Chandler said. "My first year at Lions band it's probably the best one I will ever have. It was just so fun. I was able to march with the best in the state, it was so great, I've never experienced anything like it."
Cannon was proud of his students and happy to take home another crown. "People from all over the world wanted to have their picture made with these young people," Cannon said. "And the kids reward of themselves by winning the championship, it's just kind of the icing on the cake."