Arkalalah 91 to feature Marine Forces Reserve Band

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The Marine Forces Reserve Band will join the 91st Arkalalah parade this year.

According to a news release from the Arkalalah Executive Committee Wednesday morning, committee chairman Damon Mendoza, a former Marine himself, coordinated the inclusion of the Marine Forces Reserve Band for this year’s parade on Saturday, Oct. 28 in Ark City.

“We are honored that the Marine Forces Reserve Band will lead this year’s Arkalalah festival, spearheading the ‘Big Day Parade’ on Saturday,” Mendoza said. “We anticipate the ‘Aloha Arkalalah’ festival to be a vibrant celebration of community spirit, with the Marine Forces Reserve Band’s presence elevating the event’s energy and unity, making it a memorable experience for all attendees.”

The Marine Forces Reserve Band was established in 1978 and stands as one of ten Marine Corps field bands, the news release said. The unit is comprised of active-duty Marines stationed aboard the Marine Corps Support Facility in New Orleans, Louisiana.

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The band is attached to Marine Forces Reserve, traveling to numerous stateside locations to provide musical support for the Fourth Marine Logistics Group, Fourth Marine Aircraft Wing, Fourth Marine Division, and Force Headquarters Group.

(Image courtesy U.S. Marines)

Each member of the band is a graduate of Marine Corps Recruit Training and Marine Combat training, and they complete annual physical fitness and combat training requirements including weapons and swim qualifications, the news release said.

Several members have served as Marine Drill Instructors, Recruiters, Embassy Security Guards, or deployed in support of Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom.

“My treasured experiences serving in the Marine Corps have instilled in me a deep appreciation for the Corps’ traditions and values, Mendoza said. “It instilled in me a profound respect for the power of unity and discipline in creating harmony, and I’m excited to continue that connection with the Marine Forces Reserve Band.”

The Marine Forces Reserve Band will follow the color guard, leading Saturday’s parade.

“The Big Day Parade” is one of three parades that occur throughout the week.

Arkalalah activities include a night parade on Wednesday, the all class reunion and dodgeball tournament on Thursday, a cornhole tournament, kiddie parade and queen coronation on Friday, and street games, fun runs, pancake feed and helicopter rides Saturday.

A large variety of food, game and craft vendors have booths open throughout the multi-day event, along with a beer garden and carnival.

“I’m thrilled that we have over 30 vendors participating in this year’s ‘Aloha Arkalalah,"” Mendoza said. “With all the food options, plus the Marine Forces Reserve Band, we hope to elevate the attendee experience.”

This year’s theme “Aloha Arkalalah” was chosen by Mendoza.

“Aloha encompasses everything that makes our hometown community so special. It’s a spirit of love, compassion and mutual respect that brings us all together and makes us feel like one big ohana (family),” Mendoza said.

For more information about this year’s Arkalalah activities, including event registration forms, visit Arkalalah.com.

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