NICEVILLE, Fla. (WKRG) — The Niceville High School Band will march in the 2024 Rose Bowl Parade in Pasadena, California. The announcement came Friday during an assembly with high school and middle school kids.

“It’s arguably one of, if not the highest honors a band could be selected to participate in,” said assistant band director Matt Tenore. “It is the longest-standing parade I believe it’s going to be its 134th year this year. And it started just as a simple hey, we want people to come to the game and transformed it into this huge event. The fact that we will be able to participate in the 135th year, the longest standing ever, is just incredible. It’s an experience of a lifetime and we know that these kids will remember this forever.”

This will be the third time Niceville has been invited to the prestigious parade, having marched in 2008 and 2017. Tenore said the Rose Bowl Parade is like the Super Bowl for marching bands.

“The fact that we keep getting asked back every time we apply is proof that these kids consistently have given it their all, and they always perform at such a high level because their kind gets together just wonderful,” said Tenore.

The band submitted an application last school year to be nominated for the parade. Schools are allowed to apply every four years. Niceville will be one of 20 bands from across the world performing at the game.

Most of the students that prepared the audition tapes are upperclassmen. 2023 Seniors this year said even though they won’t be around to perform in the parade, winning the invitation is an honor in itself.

“It felt great to know that the people that I have raised from freshman to juniors will do this. It is really nice knowing that we got them to this point, especially the seniors. It’s bittersweet but I’m so incredibly proud of everyone. And I’m really excited to watch them,” said Senior Jaimie Ortiz.

The Niceville High School marching band has big events ahead of the Rose Bowl Parade. The Eagles will head down to Orlando this year for the Macy’s Holiday Parade at Universal Studios.

Tenore said the band is working on a Latin ensemble for football games this year and could use spirit support. Fundraisers for the band leading to the big event in 2024 will begin in the coming months.

“Long story short, if you see a Niceville band student, tell them congratulations and get them excited for it, because really they’re representing all of us,” said Tenore. “It’s not just the band thing, it’s a Niceville thing, and really an Okaloosa County School District thing.”