Event Information for Band Members
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March 13, 2022
|Long-Term Travel Plans|
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Northeast Portland is throwing its 33rd annual St Patrick's Day Parade (read the story of this quirky event here). It's a small but growing parade, we've enjoyed it, and they REALLY want us back. Besides, it's a good chance to practice our marching and warm up for the summer season.
Uniform: DRESS uniform: TBGO polo shirt, TBGO hat, black pants/belt, black socks, black shoes. The weather wi ll be ... middling. Predicted weather is "rain early, then remaining cloudy with showers" and temps near 50 degrees. Choosing the correct jacket is tricky, so we're gonna try something new -- you can choose! Any of these is fine:
NOTE: If you wear a jacket, please wear your shirt TUCKED-IN.
Additional garb and decorations: This is a St Patrick's Day parade, so please do add green and shamrocks. You may augment or substitute appropriate St Patrick's headgear for the TBGO hat. Please don't alter other parts of the uniform (no kilts, bagpipes, sporrans, leprechaun shoes, etc).
COVID Notes: Masks are not required during the parade; consider having a mask available for pre- and post-parade use depending on the crowd and situation.
Meet: At Noon at Beverly Cleary School, NE 33rd Ave and NE Hancock St. (See map; click here for printable PDF). (Click here for Google map and directions.) We will stage in the blacktop area behind the school.
Parking: Parking is primarily on-street and not difficult; see map for options. UPDATE: The former QFC grocery store on NE 33rd Ave between Schuyler and Hancock is now a CVS Pharmacy. The parade organizer is checking with the store to see whether they mind having us park there. If you see orange cones at the entrances to CVS parking, then DO NOT park there. If parking is permitted, please use spaces located AWAY from the store entrance.
Parade Route: Parade steps off at 1 PM heading west on Hancock St, turns north on 17th Ave, then returns to the school on Tillamook St. Parade route is about 1.6 mi long. Expect parts of the route to be narrow (kinda like Multnomah Village).
Toward the end of 2021 the Board surveyed the band to get a sense of how ready everyone is to begin traveling again using Medford and Gatlinburg, TN as two possible travel ideas. Currently, we have tabled further action on Medford. However, we now want to see if there would be enough committed travelers for a cost-reduced Gatlinburg trip. If there is sufficient interest to field a viable band we'll begin formal signups (with travel deposits etc.) shortly. The link below will take you to a survey that will let us determine whether to move forward with a Gatlinburg trip. Please read the material below and then use the survey link to give us your input.
Located in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg, Tennessee has long been a tourist draw and has a unique approach to celebrating the Fourth. Since 1975, the town has kicked off the holiday with the Fourth of July Midnight Parade. A spectacular fireworks display begins at 11:00 pm on July 3, followed by the parade stepping off at 12:01 a.m. on July 4. The parade has been named by National Geographic Traveler Magazine as a "Top Ten Parade to see in the US" and recognized by Livability.com as one of the "Five Best Fourth of July Celebrations in Smaller Cities." Additionally, the event has earned multiple Grand Pinnacle Awards by the International Festivals and Events Association and was named a Top 20 Event by the Southeast Tourism Society. The parade was held as scheduled in 2021. It's about 1.2 miles in length and travels through the main street of downtown Gatlinburg.
Tom has reworked this trip itinerary to reduce cost by changing where we fly in/out and making it a 3-night trip instead of a 4-night trip. We'll travel to Asheville, NC (AVL) via Atlanta (ATL) or Charlotte, NC (CLT); we return to Portland from CLT. Departing via late evening flights on July 1 saves at least $100 per person, so that's the plan. There are lots of hotels in Gatlinburg, but they're not really suitable for our needs so we plan to stay at the Drury Inn in Knoxville for 3 nights. Nice property and includes a buffet breakfast each morning in their restaurant (not just a few tables in the lobby) plus daily happy hour each day at 530 pm with drinks and food.
As always, you are welcome to make your own travel arrangements instead of using the band travel package. Those desiring to spend more time in the region may do so; just let Tom know at time of booking whether you want to fly home on another date from Charlotte or from a completely different airport. Car rental and hotels can be arranged separately as well.
Naturally, we would take advantage of the local attractions as we usually do. Here's a brief description of the itinerary:
July 1 - Late evening flights from PDX to Asheville, NC via Atlanta (ATL) or Charlotte, NC (CLT).
July 2 - Flights arrive in Asheville between 8:20 am and 10:00 am. Meet our motor coaches and drive (1 hour 40 minutes) to the heart of Gatlinburg in time for lunch plus time to explore and shop on your own. We depart Gatlinburg by 3:00 pm to arrive at the Drury Inn in Knoxville near 4:00 pm. Remainder of day is free to recover from the late-night flight; maybe hit the happy hour???
July 3 - This morning we go by motor coach for a carefree day to explore the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Visitor Center to take in the scenic views. From here we head back into Gatlinburg to ride the Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway, soaring 2.1 miles from downtown Gatlinburgwith a 1472 foot rise in elevation, starting at 1341 feet and reaching a high point of 2813 feet above sea level Two 120-passenger counter-balanced cars provides an amazing aerial experience. We'll have lunch at the top (included). There's time to explore more of Gatlinburg afterward before we head back to our hotel near 3:30 pm. We arrive back at the hotel around 4:30, which gives you time to rest up and find some dinner. BTW, we have tons of great restaurants all walkable from our hotel. Depart our hotel in uniform with horns and music for the 4th of July parade. There should be fireworks and other festivities before we stage for the parade that steps off at 12:01 am. Parade ends near 2:00 am and we should be back at our hotel around 3:00 am. Quite a day!!!
July 4 - Sleep in due to late night! Breakfast should be available to 9:00 or grab some and bring to your room. We depart near 10:30 am for Pigeon Forge (about 1 hour) for full day at Dollywood to enjoy the fun and activities there. Of COURSE we'll check for a possible performance opportunity! Return to our hotel in the evening.
July 5 - Day of departure, so make sure you're packed up. We take breakfast at our hotel before leaving at 8:15 am for Asheville, NC to visit the Biltmore Estate, the largest privately owned house in the United States at 178,926 sq ft. Our route is the scenic and famous Blue Ridge Parkway for about a 2-hour trip. Lunch is included at the fanciest McDonald's in America at the Biltmore Village across from the main entrance of the Biltmore Estate. The luxurious location features a baby grand piano, red oak tables, wrought iron railings, and a gold-leafed fireplace. Even the employees are required to dress with black vests and bow ties to add to the classy atmosphere. Plenty of time to tour the Biltmore Estate and enjoy the area before we depart by motor coach near 3:30 pm for the Charlotte, NC airport and our flights to Portland departing at 8:15 and 8:20 pm.
|Double Occupancy||Triple Occupancy||Quad Occupancy||Single Occupancy|
|Land costs (per person)||$816.00||$708.00||$540.00||$1140.00|
|Round trip airfare*||$688.00 - $790.00||$688.00 - $790.00||$688.00 - $790.00||$688.00 - $790.00|
|Total (per person)||$1504.00 - $1606.00||$1396.00 - $1498.00||$1228.00 - $1330.00||$1828.00 - $1930.00|
It's certainly disappointing to defer Australia for one more year, but reality intrudes. Both Australia and New Zealand have kept their borders tightly controlled to contain the spread of Coronavirus. The two countries are just beginning to carefully/slowly open up. Qantas flights started flying out of LAX last week but only for a limited audience beginning with Australia citizens who are spread around the world and have been unable to return home because of the border closures. The next group will be college students and visa holders with work permits. USA/Canadian citizens may start to make their way back in early March, although re-opening dates are subject to change. In addition, airfares are still expensive at this time.
The other worrisome element is the parade itself. Both last year and this year the National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant has been reduced to a lap around the track at the Adelaide Oval. This is still pretty fun if you're a kid watching the floats etc from the stands, but not so much if you're a marching band who's trekked 8,261 miles to perform. Given that the speed of things reopening is unpredictable and Australia has been quite conservative so far, we can't predict what the Pageant will look like in 2022.
Overall, it's pretty clear that we should plan for 2023 rather than 2022. The good news is that our investment is still protected: all our deposits will be honored by those holding them. And if we reach 2023 and you decide NOT to make the trip, we should be able to transfer your deposit to newcomers in the band who want to go. In summary: Kind of a bummer, but we have to work with the world we've got rather than the world we wish we had.
The Board talks with members informally to get travel ideas, and there's no shortage of fun things to do. We've built a long-term travel plan using these criteria:
Besides our annual "big road trip", we make a conscious effort to broaden our reach in regional events. This will certainly include day trips, but we'd also love to add one or two "mini-trips" each year if the band can support it. In general, we'd try to space mini-trips so that they don't fall right on top of a major trip (i.e., we'll try to create "breathing room" between trips as much as we can.) A mini-trip would typically be closer to home, include a 1-2 night hotel stay, and have lower cost. Examples of mini-trips that we've done include the Autumn Leaf Festival in Leavenworth (WA), Wenatchee Appleblossom Festival, Pendleton Round-Up, Medford Pear Blossom Festival, White Rock (BC) Sea Festival, and Rogers Santa Claus Parade (Vancouver, BC).
In October 2018 the TBGO Board unveiled a new multi-year travel plan at the annual TBGO Birthday Party, including both regional and major national/international trips through 2024.
UPDATE: Based on interest poll results, we have decided that we will NOT travel to Yakima Sunfair in September 2019. We are keeping this event on the list for possible travel in the future.
|Click the grid at right for a one-page summary of the plan.|
|If you are on PC or Mac, click the cover slide at right to launch a self-running slide show with details of the plan and its trips. It may take a bit for the presentation to start running since it's large (48 MB). Once it launches, you can advance through it using mouse, space bar, enter key, arrow keys, etc.|
|If you are on a phone, tablet, or other such device, click on the PDF version at right. It loses the lovely animations and transitions, but at least you can see all the text!|
Many of you have worked with Tom Higham, who handles TBGO's overnight travel (and personal travel for many of us).