BUCKHANNON, WV (WVNS) – In a little over a year, an international music competition known as the “Superbowl of Marching Bands” will put a global spotlight on West Virginia.

Back on January 1, 2021, officials with the City of Buckhannon were told thousands of international visitors would be filling their city for the World Association of Marching Show Bands (WAMSB) 2023 competition. For only the second time in the event’s 26-year history the competition will happen in the United States. The last U.S. host was Palm Springs, California which hosted 10,000 competition goers.

“We are absolutely thrilled to bring this event to West Virginia and to heighten the exposure of our beautiful region and state to new audiences,”

Randy Sanders, president of the WAMSB 2023 Buckhannon Host Committee.

As of right now, 47 bands from 24 nations have submitted applications to compete at the Buckhannon hosted competition. The bands will compete for the title of world champion in multiple different disciplines of music, including marching performance, jazz, symphonic, percussion, auxiliary dance and more. In addition to the competition, numerous events are scheduled to take place throughout the week of the competition.

According to Sanders, the exposure from hosting this event can boost tourism, economic development, and investment opportunities with international attention being brought on the Mountain State.

“This competition will give West Virginia an opportunity to shine like never before. Highlighting our successful tourism industry, favorable economic climate and utilizing the competition to strengthen relationships between our leaders and foreign neighbors can create lasting benefits in West Virginia for generations.”

Randy Sanders, president of the WAMSB 2023 Buckhannon Host Committee.

Fundraising efforts by the WAMSB 2023 Host Committee are currently ongoing. Contributions have been received from the following:

  • The City of Buckhannon in the amount of 100,000 dollars
  • Harrison County Commission for 4,000 dollars
  • Community Bank for 550 dollars

It is expected that more donations will come in as the event approaches. Both the Lewis County Commission and Randolph County Commission are reviewing funding requests for their upcoming budgets.

The WAMSB 2023 World Championship will take place from July 17-24, 2023.