Arcadia Festival of Bands


Amish Jha, Staff Writer

The Arcadia Festival of Bands (AFOB) is one of the most iconic Arcadia traditions. Once a year, on the first Saturday of Thanksgiving break, bands from different high schools come together for a melodious early morning parade. 

AFOB is hosted by Arcadia High School (AHS), as well as Foothills (FMS), First Ave (FAMS), and Dana Middle School (DMS). The 69th annual Arcadia Festival of Bands was held just this Thanksgiving break, on November 19th.. The parade started with Arcadia Schools going first, followed by the other schools participating. AHS started, followed by Foothills Middle School. 

This event has historically been held on Baldwin Ave. This year AFOB was held on Duarte Road, due to construction on Baldwin at the same time. There was controversy behind this decision. “Anyone who has performed knows the feeling of walking down Baldwin, the streets are small enough to have the audience and judges be very close to you, you almost feel connected. But, Duarte seems very large and not as connected, I feel like Baldwin Ave has been iconic for AFOB,” said AHS junior Shivani Wadhwa.

A whopping 42 high schools came and performed, to compete for the winning positions. First place was given to Ganesha High School, in Pomona, California. Winning positions are decided on many different categories; the judges look at their alignment, tone, precision, drum major, note accuracy, and many other things. AHS, FMS, FAMS, and DMS are not allowed to compete for scores as they are the hosts. 

 Apache News (APN) had also streamed the event, with their students working cameras and technicals. The event is available to watch on youtube at this link. “I loved being able to see everyone’s hard work paying off and to see the beautiful color guard perform,” said AHS Sophomore and APN student Andrea Hsu. 

AFOB is a great activity involving our school that students enjoy and cherish each year. Going to watch their friends host a parade is certainly a joy! Make sure to go to next year’s AFOB back on Baldwin, to support Arcadia and show some school spirit!

Photo courtesy of Arcadia Music Club and staff