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The Big Red Marching Machine will travels to Ireland in 2025

Written by on April 17, 2024

Image courtesy of the Illinois State University Bands official Facebook page

NORMAL, Ill. – The Big Red Marching Machine will travel to Dublin, Ireland to march in the 2025 St. Patrick’s Day Parade and perform at Kilkenny Castle.

The Director of the Big Red Marching Machine Mack Wood applied to participate in the parade.

“The application asks for a video of the marching band so the parade can decide which groups are selected,” Wood said. “We are very fortunate to have been selected for the 2025 parade.”

The group has traveled to Ireland twice before, the last time in 2017.

“This is a huge opportunity for the Big Red Marching Machine to represent our organization and university overseas,” he said.

The students attending will be able to tour much of the Emerald Isle, including the EPIC Irish Emigration Museum, Cliffs of Moher, Titanic Museum, Guinness Storehouse, Christchurch Cathedral and the Gaelic Athletic Association. The trip will allow the students to immerse themselves in a different culture while representing Illinois State University at the highest level.

“The itinerary is a thoughtful balance of performance opportunities and really getting to learn about another culture,” Wood said.

Over a month ago, Wood visited Dublin on a scouting trip. He says that he “can’t wait to go back” but with the students.

“The parade will be a great experience for our students as they perform for over a half a million people,” he said.