80 years and marching for New Britain High School band

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NEW BRITAIN -- The Golden Hurricanes are going green. No, they're not becoming environmentalists--they're celebrating a holiday.

Every March is when their collective march picks up. The New Britain High School Marching Band spent this week practicing for yet another appearance at Hartford's St. Patrick's Day Parade and, this year, there is an extra spring in their step: they've been named a parade honoree.

The band is celebrating 80 years of performing. "Because we've represented (New Britain) so well in so many places and areas, they wanted to bestow that honor on us at the parade," said band director Dr. David Kayser.

Kayser, who has been the Band leader for six years, said performing on the streets of the capital city is always a highlight for the 150 students in the program. "I just like the energy of the crowd, my band feeds on that energy," he said.

The New Britain High School Marching Band played for crowds at Disney World last month, which provided plenty of thrills, but senior Gabe Leardi, a drill sergeant in the band, said being in their own backyard is extra special. "When you are on your own turf everybody there is just waiting for the Golden Hurricanes to come marching by."

That sentiment was echoed by Harmony Gregory, a junior on the drumline. "I love playing in Hartford because everyone is always there, it's one of our most exciting parades," she said.

The band has been practicing their routine for the parade, which will be held on March 14, for about a month. Kayser said, "You're going to hear dynamics and hopefully you're going to hear musicality."

Update: Due to weather the parade has been postponed until next Saturday, March 21.