Little Big Horn marches into town Saturday

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Andalusia’s color guard performs at last year’s Little Big Horn competition. | Courtesy photo

This weekend, more than 4,000 people will make their way to Opp for the annual Little Big Horn band competition, bringing with them a stream of sales tax revenue and much-needed business for the city.

The competition brings the second-largest crowd to Opp each year, second only to the spring Rattlesnake Rodeo weekend.

Opp Mayor H.D. Edgar said the Little Big Horn weekend is a “big economic boost for Opp.”

“All the bands bring with them parents and other supporters,” he said. “They come in and patronize our restaurants, stores and gas stations, in turn bringing a big weekend in sales tax revenue. We are excited about the weekend.”

Last year, Little Big Horn coupled with Opp Fest, helped bring in $163,997 in sales tax revenues, which was more than the fiscal year 2008 collection for the month of $157,574.

Opp Fest is scheduled for next Sat., Oct. 27.

Fourteen bands will be competing this Saturday in Opp’s Little Big Horn Marching Band competition.

Opp band director Randy Hughey said namely Andalusia High School’s “A Sound Tradition,” and Florala High School’s “Marching Pride,” which are the only Covington County bands competing, along with bands from South Walton, Fla., Leroy High, Rocky Bayou Christian (Fla.), Freeport, Fla., Flomaton, Jay, Fla., Satsuma, Eufaula, Elba, Davidson, Mary G. Montgomery, Daleville, are taking part.

“This is our biggest fundraiser of the year,” Hughey said. “We are in our 32nd year.”

Band Boosters typically net $6,000 in profits, give away some $3,000 in trophies and spend $2,500 on judges, Hughey said.

In years past, Hughey said the event had drawn a standing-room only crowd.

Florala will be the first band to take the field at 2 p.m.; Andalusia will take the field at 7:20 p.m., and Opp will perform in exhibition at 8:20 p.m., followed by awards at 8:30 p.m.

Admission is $6, which includes an armband.

“We will also have T-shirts and other souvenirs and concessions,” Hughey said.