There are few things better than a parade. The smiles, the music, the laughter and community pride. We warmly invite you to join us for this once-in-a-lifetime state-wide parade! On this page you will find the parade route map as well as the best places to watch. 


Maine's Bicentennial celebration deserves a very special band! We are proud to announce the creation of the STATE OF MAINE BICENTENNIAL BAND. We invite musicians from across the state to join us for the Bicentennial Parade. Simply complete the participation form below.

Please note: All band musicians must be 13 years of age or older; memorize the musical selections provided by the State of Maine Bicentennial Parade Committee; and attend both a regional and a full-group rehearsal prior to the parade performance. These mandatory rehearsals will include both marching practice and music practice. Details are included below. 

THE MUSIC (All pieces must be memorized by all band members)


Attention Bicentennial Marching Band members:


As you have heard, the State of Maine Bicentennial Parade has been rescheduled to Saturday, August 15, 2020. The planning committee is hopeful that we can have a successful event on that date. However, if we need to postpone further due to continued mass gathering restrictions in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we will make that decision no later than July 1.

In the meantime, we are full speed ahead with planning the parade and have set aside two rehearsal dates: Saturday, July 25 will be a full-day rehearsal with music and marching; Friday, August 14 will be an evening rehearsal in preparation for the parade the next day. Please save these dates on your calendar and plan to attend both, with the music memorized in advance.

We are looking for venues to have both rehearsals in the Lewiston-Auburn/central Maine area, and will have more details soon.

Thank you for your continued interest in the band! 


Please note that we have reopened the signup period for additional members to join the band, so feel free to invite friends and family to take part.


The signup period to join the State of Maine Bicentennial Marching Band is now open, due to the rescheduling of the parade to May 15, 2021. To join the band, please send the following information to

  • Name

  • Instrument/Colorguard

  • T-shirt size

  • Email

  • Mailing address

  • Phone number

  • Signed Waiver Form (download at right)

John Neal, of Greene, will direct the State of Maine Bicentennial Parade Band.

Band members should read ALL notes below.

Be sure to check back often for updates. 

Important "Notes"

from Director Neal

Neal holds a bachelor’s degree in music education from The Ohio State University and a master’s degree in conducting performance from the University of Connecticut. 

A piano student from the age of eight, his teachers include Hildred Curtis Fowler, Natasha Chances, Rosemary Platt, Neal Larrabee and Chiharu Naruse. 

He continues a career in music education which began in 1978 and includes teaching positions at Van Buren District Secondary School, Edward Little High School in Auburn, the University of Southern Maine, Bates College, Oak Hill High School in Sabattus and his current position as Director of Music at the Snow Pond Arts Academy in Sidney, Maine. 

Neal's students have won numerous awards including First Place in the National Independence Day Parade in Washington, DC with the ELHS Band in 1988, and a Carnegie Hall performance in New York City with the Oak Hill HS Voices of Color in 2003 among many others; several of his students have gone on to careers in music education and performance. 

Neal was recognized by the Maine Music Educators Association in 1994 as the Maine Music Educator of the Year, and by WCSH6 and the Maine Education Association as an “Inspiring Educator” in 2016.

Neal has performed as pianist and music director with the Lewiston-Auburn Community Little Theater, the Monmouth Community Players and at numerous other local venues and high school productions since the 1980s. His first CD of original electronic music "Fox Island Afternoon" was released in 1997; his original electronic ballet "Vasalisa", based upon the Russian legend of the same name, was released in 2008.   Both CDs are available on iTunes and at

We are honored to have Neal as the director of the State of Maine Bicentennial Parade Band and encourage all musicians in the state to embrace this opportunity to march and perform under his direction in this once-in-a-lifetime special event.

Jim Hager, of Gorham - Proud to be Maine's Bicentennial Band Percussion Instructor

Jim Hager is proud to be the Percussion Instructor for the Maine Bicentennial Marching Band. His experience includes marching, teaching, and judging at the local and national levels.

Jim’s career started in Boston with his CYO parish band, learning to play clarinet. A few years later, he transitioned to percussion. With ambition to compete at the highest level of the activity, he joined the 27th Lancers Drum & Bugle Corps (Revere, MA) and completed 4 years of competition at the DCI level. He was then asked to join the Lancers percussion staff and taught for 4 more years. Some of the highlights include participating at the 1980 Winter Olympics at Lake Placid and a 2nd place finish at the DCI World Championships in Birmingham.

While teaching, Jim also earned his percussion judging credentials with the Massachusetts Judges Association, and judged at the local and national levels throughout New England and North Carolina until 1987. After relocating to Gorham, ME in 1988, Jim resumed judging for MBDA and NESBA.

In the spring of 1993, the 27th Lancers formed and alumni corps that would perform at the 1994 DCI World Championship in Foxboro. The corps would field over 280 members, and Jim returned as a percussion instructor and played in the tenor section, while his wife Michelle marched in the Lancers Rifle Line.

 In the fall of 1994, Jim was hired as the Percussion Instructor at Marshwood High under the direction of Dave Stebbins. In 1995, with support from the MBDA Board of Directors, he was named Treasurer of the association and led the effort in getting MBDA its 501(c) 3 non-profit status. Jim continued at Marshwood until early 2000 and then resumed judging for MBDA until the 2013 season.

In 2014, Jim was elected to the Massachusetts Drum Corps and Music Educators Hall of Fame for his contributions to the marching arts.

Jim resides in Gorham with his wife Michelle.  He is a former 4-term member of the Gorham School Committee and is currently a 2-term member of the Gorham Town Council.

State of Maine Bicentennial Parade Committee  |  September 2019

Photos by Shutterstock & Ram McDonough

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