Gallery: Do you remember? -- June 25, 2012 -- Band Festival photos from 1947, 1950 and 1951
The annual Band Festival in Huntington was started in 1936 by Henry Shadwell of Huntington High School, Charles Gorby of South Charleston and Carl McElfresh of Logan High School.
PAST HISTORICAL GALLERIESMarch 5, 2012 Jan. 31, 2011
"Huntington may had as many as 100 bands for the statewide band festival," said Dr. Ralph Turner of Huntington. "It really was a big deal. I believe bands would form together at Marshall, march down 4th Avenue to 8th Street and march to Fairfield Stadium. It was a long march, and it was not unusual for band members to faint.
"Out-of-town band members in the 1950s and earlier would stay free of charge at Huntington homes. That was always special to find out what band members would stay at people's houses. Band members would be in town for several days and while here would on their own march in town other than the big parade on Saturday.
"Bands also would play for ratings. It was a big deal to get a top rating. These took place in the City Hall auditorium."
Richard McCoy of Huntington said it was a time when tens of thousands of the state's youth left their hometown and went to "a real city."
"The organizers were giants in the ability to pull it together and locate housing for the band members," McCoy said. "The homes of Huntingtonian were opened to the visitors, their chaperones and band educators.
"Fridays were a time to skip school and go downtown to watch the bands practice. Of course, the band members all wanted to go to Camden Park, and Ohio Valley Buses headed toward the park were standing room only on that Friday evening.
"The parade seemed endless. The crowd on the sidewalk jammed together, all gawking, and the performances at Fairfield Stadium were packed with spectators to take in the spectacle and enjoy the spirited music."
On Sunday, Jan. 17, 1909, the first edition of The Herald-Dispatch hit the streets of Huntington.
While we no longer have very many photos from those early years, we do have a stash of negatives from the 1950s and early 1960s. Our dated, organized negative archives begin in April 1966.
Since December 2010, we have been scanning boxes of old negatives and posting them here at www.herald-dispatch.com/historicalphotos. We add what caption information we know, and readers have been helping to fill in the gaps.
If you can add caption information to any of the photos (or correct a caption we already have), email online editor Andrea Copley-Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to include the title of the gallery, details of the photo, your name and phone number.
Reprints of these photos are available. Find the photo you would like to purchase, then click "Purchase this photo" underneath it. Prices are $6 for a 4x6, $11 for a 5x7 and $15 for an 8x10. There are also bigger photo sizes and framing options, if you would be interested