One of the competing schools at 2020’s Marching Yellow Jacket Invitational is shown here. The 2021 event will take place Saturday at John Kerr Field.

Trousdale County’s Marching Yellow Jackets are enjoying a return to normalcy with Saturday’s 17th annual Marching Yellow Jacket Invitational.

TCHS band director Rob Joines said 13 bands are scheduled to compete in Saturday’s event at John Kerr Field, which is now the second-longest running band competition in Tennessee. A number of events had to be canceled in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but Trousdale County’s was the first to be allowed to proceed last year.

“We’re really blessed to have the support of the community,” Joines said. “Those bands and families go to eat at our restaurants. We feel we’re showcasing how beautiful everything in Trousdale County is. We’re proud to have had this for 17 years.”

Joines also expressed his appreciation to the football coaching staff for lining the field prior to the event and to the Holder family for the use of parking areas in Hartsville City Park.

Thirteen schools, not counting Trousdale County, will take part in this year’s event: Smyrna, Gallatin, Portland, LaVergne Clarksville Northeast, Livingston Academy, Forrest, Gordonsville, Mt. Pleasant, Smith County, Watertown, Jackson County and Jo Byrns. Northeast was a late addition, having been scheduled to take part in Waverly’s competition that had to be canceled because of the recent flooding there.

“We were asked to extend the deadline by Waverly and allow in the people that were going to go to theirs,” Joines said. “I had anticipated that might happen and it wasn’t a problem.”

In past years, Hartsville’s competition has been the largest in Tennessee with nearly 30 bands showing up.

“Several marching competitions have piled onto this day,” Joines said. “There’s Stewart County, Station Camp, almost twice as many now. We feel good about having 13. It’s still a COVID-type year and the impact on marching bands has been bad. There have been band programs that completely went away, like Davidson Academy.”

Admission to Saturday’s event is $10.

The competition will begin at noon. The Marching Yellow Jackets are scheduled to perform in exhibition at 4 p.m. and the awards ceremony will begin at 4:30 p.m.

The Marching Yellow Jackets are currently in their competitive marching season, having competed last Saturday at the Hendersonville Golden Invitational. The Trousdale Guard placed second in its class as the event.

Trousdale’s band was scheduled to go to Northeast later Saturday, but a rain delay at Hendersonville’s event meant the Yellow Jackets couldn’t make both trips.

The Marching Yellow Jackets are scheduled to compete at Lebanon on Oct. 2, at Forrest on Oct. 9, at Pulaski on Oct. 16, at Bethel on Oct. 23 and at the Division I State Championships in Murfreesboro on Oct. 30.

Trousdale County made the state finals three years ago and two years ago just missed out, placing 11th. Last year’s event was canceled amid the pandemic and a virtual competition was held instead.

Reach Chris Gregory at 615-374-3556 or

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