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Great American Brass Band Festival

Go back in time to a more peaceful, nostalgic turn-of-the-century America and enjoy an old-time brass band concert in the park at Danville’s Great American Brass Band Festival, June 8-11.

The festival features the whole spectrum of brass bands, including Civil War bands, Salvation Army bands, ragtime, jazz, New Orleans funeral bands, turn-of-the-century town bands, British-styled bands, brass ensembles, and circus bands.

Four days of family fun attract 40,000 visitors, with highlights including a balloon race, continuous music beginning Friday evening, a parade, a decorator picnic, and fireworks.

A Chautauqua Tea on Thursday features Richard Domek, at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., with live musical performances (advance reservations $15) and an all-day conference on American Band History on Friday (pre-registration required, $40). Gates open to the Great American Balloon Race at 5 p.m. on Friday, with music at 6 p.m. and hot air balloons lifting off at 7 p.m.

Saturday and Sunday feature performances on three stages by the world’s top brass bands. Don’t miss Saturday’s parade at 11 a.m. Bring your own food and blankets for the Great American Picnic on Saturday afternoon at the main stage at Centre College—or reserve a front-row table for eight to create your own award-winning picnic theme ($150 tax-deductible donation). The night of music under the stars finishes off with fireworks.

Hours are Friday, 8:30 a.m.- 9 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m.-10:30 p.m., and Sunday 9:15 a.m.- 6 p.m. Events will take place at the Centre College Campus and in downtown Danville.

The festival is free to the public. For more information, go online to www.gabbf.com or call (800) 755-0076.

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