A busy stretch of Sain Drive was closed to traffic for about an hour for band practice Wednesday afternoon.

It wasn’t an ordinary practice though. It was the band’s final day of preparation before leaving for Washington, D.C. to perform in the National Memorial Day Parade Monday.

The band needed the long stretch of roadway to rehearse their marching routine for the parade, which is estimated to be seen by some 1.5 million viewers on TV across the country and around the world on the American Forces Network and online.

Alice High School director of music Arnold Garza said performing in the capitol on Memorial Day will rank among the band program’s most significant performances.

“It’s going to be one of the more prestigious venues we’ve played,” Garza said. “Getting to honor our country’s servicemen and women… my dad, brother and uncles served in the military, so for me, it’s a big deal, and I think the kids understand what an honor it is to pay tribute to our armed services.”

Alice is taking 150 band members, each of whom had to raise $1,350 for the trip.

The parade marks the 75th anniversary of D-Day and is described as a moving timeline of America’s military history. For its part, the Alice band is playing a patriotic medley entitled Main Street America, which is an arrangement of Grand Ole’ Flag and anthems from each of the U.S. Armed Services. The band has been practicing the music and the marching routine for about two weeks.

The parade will take place on Historic Constitution Avenue from 7th Street to 17th Streets and will be on display for a live audience of an estimated 500,000.

The Alice High School band was nominated to perform in the parade by U.S. Congressman Filemon Vela. Alice is one of three Texas programs participating in the parade.