Drum Corps Associates, in an unusual move, awarded the 2004 and 2005 Championships to Scranton, PA.
The bid from the Northeast Pennsylvania Visitors and Convention Bureau was just too good to refuse. With many new faces involved the cooperation level has drastically increased this winter. The new director of the bureau and the Lackawanna County commissioners were determined to not only insure a great 2003 championship, but bring DCA back to Lackawanna stadium for another two years.
Many of the championship jobs previously burdened on either DCA officials or the American Legion representatives will be handled by the bureau, Lackawanna County and their great staffs. The sponsors presented an excellent package that would have been very difficult to beat.
There was much sentiment in favor of bringing the championship back to the renovated J. Birney Crum in Allentown, but this bid from Scranton was just too much to overcome.
The format for each event will remain the same as recent years for 2003, but for 2004 there will be a fairly significant change. The Saturday morning preliminary competition for 2004 will be moved to Saturday night. The individual, ensemble and mini corps competitions will be Friday evening. The “Alumni Spectacular” and finals will remain unchanged.
This change will be tried for several reasons. Many corps felt prelims is the most important contest of the year and it would be much better to be able to have a game day schedule similar to what they do all season. Also, this past year’s preliminary competition was amazingly entertaining, but prelims could be better attended. With an evening position, increased attendance might be likely.
Finally, since DCA is recognizing the importance of prelims, it only makes sense to have the corps compete under the lights, in the cooler temperatures, the same as they do all season and do in finals.
These changes were not made lightly. They have been discussed for more than three years. The participants in the I&E contest and many of the mini corps were polled and they did not see the change as a major deterrent to participation.
Although the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame is independent and will make its own decision, many of the leaders of the organization said a Saturday noon luncheon would work just as well for them and they would have the bonus of being able to view or participate in the I&E/mini corps competition Friday night — an event that, in the past, has taken place during their annual banquet and induction.