Seaman High School
Topeka, Kansas

The Beginner’s Guide to Neewollah

Posted: Sunday, October 26, 2014

What is Neewollah?

Neewollah (“Halloween” spelled backwards) is the state’s largest annual celebration. Held every year in Independence, Kansas, it spans several days of entertainment and activities—similar to Topeka’s Fiesta Mexicana. Independence is about 3 hours straight south of Topeka on Highway 75.

The festival culminates on the first weekend of November. The day will begin with the Grand Parade, then the streets will open to a myriad of food vendors, a carnival, and a bandstand with live music. The marching field competition begins in the early afternoon, and runs throughout the rest of the day in parallel with the downtown activities.

Main Festival Web Site

Schedule of the Day:

Anyone interested in caravanning should meet in the SHS south parking lot (not in the bus loop!) at 7:00a. Please don’t drive between the buses on the way down. The buses stop for about 15 minutes at the truck stop at BETO Junction for a potty break, and again at the rest stop just north of Independence.

The Grand Parade

Parade Route map of the parade route
(click to enlarge)

Highway 75 is known as Pennsylvania Avenue within town, and will be closed that morning starting a little north of Locust Street. The parade officially starts at the Arby’s at Chestnut and Penn. Staging is about four blocks west of there at the middle school at 9th and Locust.

Normally, Independence is a town of about 10,000 people. On the day of the Grand Parade, that number is closer to 75,000. Don’t try to park with the buses. Parking is basically wherever you can find a spot on a street in front of someone’s house. (Be nice; don’t block their driveway.) Since Penn (Highway 75) will be closed through downtown, you should probably turn right on Sycamore and go west to about 12th Street. The buses will be parked somewhere in this general area. After making careful note of where you parked, walk southeast (the direction everyone else is going) to downtown. You’ll be in the neighborhood of 8–10 blocks away, depending on where you find to park. (I’ve also heard some people have had good luck parking by turning left on Sycamore.)

The parade runs over two hours long, with the larger bands at the back, ahead of the horses. (Actually, I don’t know if this parade has horses. In all my years of attending, I’ve never seen the end of it.) Seaman is entry 110 this year. (110th entry—not 110th band—the parade’s not quite that big yet!) Some parents like to walk the route along with the band—others will find a spot and take in the whole thing. If you set up near the first turn of the route, after the band goes by you can go a block south or two blocks west and catch them a second time.

Once the parade ends, the band members are dismissed to fend for themselves for lunch. At this point the carnival and the food vendors all open. The lines will be long, but it definitely beats McDonald’s! (There’s one of those around 10th and Myrtle—if you must. Reb family—Braum’s moved to a block SW of McDonald’s.) My personal favorite: Ye Ol’ Fashun Dutch Apple Fritters.

There’s a Walgreen’s at 9th and Main, if you find yourself needing some Advil—or black marching socks.

Field Competition

Field Show Schedule field show schedule
(click to enlarge)

Field competition begins at 1:30p, moving through the schools in size order—smallest to largest. Entry is free to everyone. As you come into town that morning from the north heading south, you’ll drive past a cemetery on the left that’s about five miles long. As you reach the south end of the cemetery, above the treetops you can see the top of the stadium where the field competition takes place. It’s about a block off the main drag. After the parade downtown, and the obligatory funnel cakes/apple fritters/deep-fried stuff on a stick, this is where you’ll need to go. (Turn east on Oak Street as you come north.)

The bleacher seating runs at full capacity most of the afternoon, with the crowd cycling in and out as their respective bands come and go. If you want a seat in the bleachers, you’ll need to position yourself two or three bands ahead of ours. A concession stand is beneath the bleachers. If you use the men’s room at the gate where the bands go in and out, watch your head.

Immediately after leaving the field, the band will congregate/amass/mob/cheer/hug/cry just south of the stadium, where they may or may not get their picture taken. Jolesch used to do group shots of all the bands, then last year noone did, and this year Inter-State Studio is. Seaman is the last band to perform before awards are presented, so there may not be time for a group photo.

For the awards ceremony, most all of the bands will be seated and/or doing the wave across the south end of the football field. Last year’s Grand Champion—Derby—is not participating this year, but Independence and Branson have both moved up to our division this year. And yes, you are seeing double. There are two Caney Valley schools—one from Kansas and one from Oklahoma.


Once the award presentations are over, the band boosters will be feeding the band in a shelter house just south of the field. Note that it's not the same shelter as previous year’s, but is close to that one. Also, instead of grilling hot dogs this year, we will be ordering in pizza—and more pizza—and more pizza. (Have you ever seen 207 kids eat?!)

As for parents and families, you’re best off grabbing something before you leave Independence, or stopping at Neodesha, about 10 minutes north of Independence. There’s a Sonic and something else on the south end of Neodesha, and a Dairy Queen on the north end. After that, your next options are in Yates Center, where there’s a Pizza Hut and a Subway (and a speed trap). If you attempt to eat further north, you may not be there before closing time.

Orange Leaf Fundraiser

Posted: Thursday, September 18, 2014

orange leaf coupon
(click to print)

We will be holding fundraisers at the Orange Leaf on Wanamaker this fall. These will be held on the fourth Wednesday of each month. You WILL need a coupon for this fundraiser, but there are no set hours. The coupon is good all day and the band will receive 20% of the sale. You can find the coupon to the right. Please feel free to share it with friends and family! (And the mailman! And your hairdresser! And strangers! And that scary lady down the street!) The Orange Leaf fundraising dates are September 24, October 22, and November 26.

K-State Marching Festival DVDs

Posted: Thursday, September 18, 2014

BOX5 Media is excited to announce that we will be filming the KSU Central States Marching Band Festival!

NEW FOR 2014

Digital downloads of your performance will be available within 72 hours of your performance. These digital files will play on most any device.

I’ve attached our order form for easy distribution to your parents. If they so choose, they can order online at We also offer group orders allowing your parents to purchase DVDs for as low as $20! If your parents are interested in placing a group order, let us know how many DVDs you would like to order and we will give you a final price.

If you have any other questions, please let us know.

I wish you the best of luck and hope your fall band season has been going well so far.

Tim Snyder
BOX5 Media
(502) 409-5595 ph
(502) 314-2667 cell
dvd order form
(click to print)

Sponshorship Opportunities

Posted: Wednesday, August 5, 2014

If you are interested in sponsoring an event with the Seaman Bands, please indicate your preferences by filling out the following form: Sponsor Interest Form.

Alamo Bowl Update

Posted: Sunday, May 18, 2014

Important—We just received confirmation of the Alamo Bowl game date. It has been moved to Friday, January 2nd. Therefore, our trip dates are:

Depart—Monday, December 29th, at 6:00p
Return—Saturday, January 3rd, early evening

The awards dinner and dance has been scheduled for New Year’s Eve from 8:00p–midnight, so we will be celebrating the new year in a controlled, safe environment! Please understand that we were under the mercy of the new NCAA playoff system. We are in the process of revising the daily itinerary and we will send that out with sponsor names by the end of next week.

Many parents have asked where the band will be staying in San Antonio, and we now have a good idea. There are two possible hotels that are about a mile apart on the same road—you can see one from the other. Where each band stays will be determined when rooming lists are turned in, the numbers they have, and how they fit in with the rooming blocks the hotels give us. Both hotels are the same great quality:

As always, we welcome any family member to enjoy and observe our large band trips, but ask that you use this information to be able to stay close to the action, and not stay in the same hotel or be in the way of the group. I love to see familiar faces while on these trips, but please keep in mind that this is a trip for the students.

Alamo Bowl Trip Info

Posted: Monday, May 5, 2014

Following are the handouts that were provided at the Band Booster meeting regarding the band’s upcoming trip to the Alamo Bowl this December:


(click to print)
Payment Application

(click to print)
Behavioral Contract

(click to print)