The Rose Parade theme for 2023 was “Turning the Corner” – a fitting name as the event was held without COVID restrictions for the first time since 2020. As the Fresno State Bulldog Marching Band started down the Rose Parade route, they also needed to turn the 110-degree corner from Orange Grove Boulevard to Colorado Boulevard in front of the grandstands. The Bulldog Marching Band, unlike most other bands in the parade, played as they negotiated the tight turn and set up for the central performance.
True to their slogan, “the Best Band in the West,” the Bulldog Marching Band turned on and gave a high-energy performance that wowed the spectators and television hosts.
“I want to get in my car and drive to Fresno right now!” said Mark Steines, KTLA Rose Parade host, as the Bulldog Marching Band finished up the first song in the parade grandstand performance. “They have a lot of fun up there.”
The Bulldog Marching Band was the final band of the parade and started a few minutes past the two-hour limit the national television networks had budgeted for the live coverage. However, after ABC and NBC signed off, KTLA, finished the coverage until the end.
Fans of the Bulldog Marching Band quickly found the KTLA coverage online and spread the word that even though the band was not seen in the national coverage, the brilliant performance was shared by supporters. Along with the online support, fans are also holding hope for a future opportunity to play in the parade.
“Okay, Rose Parade. Why don’t you invite the Fresno State Marching Band back?” wrote Julie York Ward in a Facebook comment. “A lot of people who couldn’t be here were excited to see them in their first Rose Parade appearance! They were absolutely fantastic-they finished the parade off in style, and they deserve to kick it off next year!”
Along with the parade, the Bulldog Marching Band performed in the Tournament of Roses Bandfest. Even in the pouring rain, the band thrilled the audience with a stellar performance.
In a video posted to Facebook, the Bulldog Marching Band thanked Dean Honora Chapman, Provost Xuanning Fu and President Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval for their support.
Two weeks prior, on January 17, the Bulldog Marching Band rocked the house at the Jimmy Kimmel L.A. Bowl as Fresno State stomped Washington State 29-6.
4 thoughts on “Bulldog Marching Band wows audience at Rose Parade”
I was born and raised in Visalia California and I just wanted to tell you guys good job!
You made us proud!
Thank you very much!
As a former high school band director in the 70’s—90’s, with no connection to Fresno CSU, I can say with certainty that this is probably the best band in the country. They have a unique combination of excellent musicianship, showmanship, and tasteful entertainment while incorporating the best elements of various band styles from throughout the country.
Thank you very much!