The new stands at the Neshoba Central football stadium will be full Saturday as the Big Blue band again hosts the Mississippi High School Activities Association’s Region III Marching Band competition.

The Big Blue will be one of around 30 bands competing to advance to the State Band competition in Pearl later this month.

Bands in the lower classifications will march in the morning, starting at 9 a.m. The larger schools will march in the afternoon. Wade said Neshoba Central is scheduled to march at around 5 p.m.

After the regional is completed, Neshoba Central will host a “Battle of the Bands” competition. Around 10 bands are slated to compete in this.

The Big Blue has received all superior ratings at region for the past 39 years and Band Director Daniel Wade says they want to keep the streak alive. Last year, they finished at the top of the list in the regional competition and placed seventh overall in state.

“The band overall has worked very hard to improve each week,” Wade said. “We have our show completed. Everyone has worked hard.”

There are around 135 members of the Big Blue band. This year’s show is titled “The Presents,” which is made up of Christmas music.

“We were trying to do something different that would make it be a memorable show as we go to championships. We want to do something outside of the box that will be remembered,” Wade said.

This is the third year Neshoba Central has hosted the regional band competition. The first year, they held it at East Mississippi Community College. Last year, it was held at the school.

Also, the East Central Community College band and the Spirit of Carey band from William Carey College will both put on exhibitions during the day.