Pride of the Mountains drummers perform during Cherokee Indian Fair parade

Sixteen members of Western Carolina University’s Pride of the Mountains Marching Band drum line had an opportunity to entertain residents of the Qualla Boundary recently as they marched and played in the Cherokee Indian Fair parade.

The parade on Oct. 3 was part of festivities associated with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians’ 105th annual Cherokee Indian Fair, held Oct. 3-7 with the theme “One Nation, One Community, Always United.”

The WCU drummers marched behind a banner representing all of the university’s Native programs along with some current Native students and the Cherokee Center staff.

“The drum line was very impressive, to say the least, and I have heard nothing but positive comments from the community about how well they played and how much the folks in Cherokee enjoyed them during the parade,” Cherokee Center Director Sky Sampson said after the event.

Matt Henley, WCU assistant director of athletic bands, said the 16 drummers were members of the band’s Purple Drumline, which is often called upon to provide community outreach performances.

The drummers were excited to have a chance to perform in Cherokee, he said. “They had a great time and were proud to represent WCU and the Pride of the Mountains in the Cherokee community,” Henley said.