The members of the Grove City High School Marching Band and their supporters were scheduled to depart early on Dec. 30 for the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Ariz.

The members of the Grove City High School Marching Band and their supporters were scheduled to depart early on Dec. 30 for the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Ariz.

Director George Edge said preparations for the mass exodus to the nation's Southwest have been "super."

There are 221 members in the band, not including all the support staff and parents.

Edge said two trucks were packed to haul larger instruments to Glendale.

"We are anticipating a wonderful trip for our students and we're proud to represent Grove City in central Ohio," he said on the eve of their departure.

"Several (students) have never had this kind of opportunity to see things such as the Grand Canyon and nature of the Southwest."

He added a majority of the band members have not travelled west of the Mississippi River.

Edge said the trip was made possible with the help of the band boosters and local businesses.

He said a lot of time, money and effort made the trip possible for the students. The cost per student came to about $1,500 to go on the trip. The band will compete in the preliminary round of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona Fiesta Bowl National Band Competition on Jan. 1.

Students will have a chance to see some of the sights of the area between shows.

On Jan. 3 they will play in the Fiesta Bowl Parade with other high school bands and the Ohio State University Marching Band.

They return, hopefully triumphant, Jan. 4, Edge said.