WAMSB officials kick off regional tour to discuss details


BUCKHANNON — Officials with the World Association of Marching Show Bands (WAMSB) spoke with commissioners in Harrison and Randolph County regarding tourism and economic impacts the 2023 Buckhannon competition will bring to the region.

The visits to the Harrison County and Randolph County Commissions, which also included funding requests, were the first in several planned visits to counties that will be directly impacted by the thousands of visitors expected to attend the competition.

“We anticipate thousands of international visitors in attendance for the championship,” said Randy Sanders, president of the WAMSB 2023 Host Committee. “That number of visitors will have immediate economic impacts in Upshur and surrounding counties.”

When they aren’t competing, attendees and their guests will have the opportunity to visit shops, restaurants and take part in different recreation opportunities across the region.

Sanders added that the event brings the opportunity for long-term tourism and economic development through relationships built with international entities, dignitaries, and others from abroad. To that end, additional meetings were held with the Randolph County Development Authority and Elkins-Randolph Chamber of Commerce and the Harrison County Economic Development Corporation and the Harrison County Chamber of Commerce.

“The meetings that we have held so far have led to great conversations about how we can leverage our resources and connections in West Virginia to not only put on a fantastic event but to create long-term impact across our state,” explained Sanders.

To date, 47 bands from 24 nations have submitted applications to participate. The City of Buckhannon has pledged $100,000. The Harrison County Commission pledged $4,000 in support of the event and the Randolph County Commission is reviewing the request for their budget. Community Bank has pledged a $550 sponsorship.

The WAMSB 2023 World Championship will take place in July 2023. This is only the second time in 26 years it will take place in the U.S. and the first time being hosted on the East Coast, giving the region and state an international spotlight it otherwise would not have.

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