January 19, 2009 at 5:15 PM CST - Updated July 3 at 11:26 AM
PETAL, MS (WDAM) - It was an early morning for members of the Petal High School band as they prepared for their journey to our nation's capital to march in the presidential inauguration parade.
The 165-member band loaded their instruments and luggage on to four chartered buses at 7 a.m. Sunday for the 15-hour drive.
Well wishers lined the Evelyn Gandy Parkway to send the band off as highway patrol, Petal Police and Forrest County Sheriff's Deputies provided an escort for the buses.
The band raised over $70,000 in just a month with help from local businesses, government officials, and private individuals. Petal's band is the only band from Mississippi to be invited to take part in this historic event.
Despite some misty rain and cool temperatures, spirits were high among the band members.